Filed Under:  U.S. & World

Meningitis B Vaccination Not Required At Arizona Universities; Committee May

Contributed by on June 29, 2015 at 7:50 pm

The new recommendation would simply add a line saying that people ages 16 through 23 “may be vaccinated” with a preferred age for vaccination of 16 through 18.

A federal panel, which advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has stopped short of recommending that all adolescents and young adults in the vaccinated against a serious strain of meningitis advising instead that doctors decide whether or not to give the vaccine. Although it is rare, meningococcal disease can come on quickly and can lead to death or disability within hours.

The hesitation over the decision is because officials can not decided whether the meningitis B vaccine used to treat students during recent outbreaks is worth dispersing to the entire USA population.

Now a CDC committee has voted to recommend using new vaccines to prevent that strain of meningitis in adolescents and young adults. Many parents are not aware that the booster dose at age 16 is essential to protect teens in later years when rates of infection begin to climb. Their mission is to put a personal face on what, for the CDC, is a data-driven decision-guided by a strict methodology that factors in the reach and impact of a disease and the safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of a vaccine. Still, some are optimistic about the panel’s recommendation. I lost my baby girl.

In February, the ACIP said Trumenba and Bexsero should be considered only for high-risk patients in the 10 to 25 age group, but it was persuaded to revisit the recommendation after the two companies and patient groups argued that this was too narrow.

“Permission recommendation is definitely better than no recommendation”, said Lynn Bozof, president of the National Meningitis Association. Meningococcal disease survivors and parents who lost children to the disease also made emotional pleas to make the vaccine routine.

Those disappointed by the decision say it’s confusing for parents who won’t be clear if their kids are fully protected. They declined to approve a category A recommendation for wide use, but group members said the vaccines could appear on a list of shots relied on by doctors and parents.

The ACIP also recommended the inclusion of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 to the algorithm determining the number of seasonal influenza vaccine doses for children aged 6 months to 8 years.

At the meeting, Deborah Wexler, MD, executive director of the Immunization Action Coalition, urged the ACIP to endorse routine immunization of young people against meningitis B. It is not clear what percentage of meningitis strains in the United States it will protect against or how long the vaccine will last. Currently, a vaccine that covers four strains of the disease is recommended for college age children and many states and colleges require the vaccination.

“The vaccine is available, people can get it, we want to make it equitable but we’re not convinced at this point in time every person should get it”, said committee member Douglas Campos-Outcalt, M.D., M.P.A.

A spokesperson for the Health and Social Services Department said the board had “agreed that it intends to implement a local Meningitis B immunisation programme”.

Arizona Daily Wildcat :: Doctors call for mandatory vaccination

CDC to vote on new meningitis vaccine – Atlanta Magazine