What is the cost of meningococcal disease?
Who does it impact?
When/for whom should vaccination be recommended?
These are some of the questions that policymakers will ask as they consider how to recommend the new vaccines to protect against serogroup B meningococcal disease.
To find the answers, we believe it is necessary to talk—and listen to—the people directly affected by the disease.
That starts with survivors, but also includes the families and friends of those who get sick; parents, students, faculty, staff and community members who have experienced a case, or an outbreak, on campus; and healthcare professionals who must make a difficult diagnosis and fight a fast-moving disease.
NMA has brought together a cross-section of advocates to give voice to the concerns of all of these groups in a new report: Beyond the Science: Putting a Face on Meningococcal Disease.
As national policy is discussed and implemented, we urge all those involved to consider these perspectives, especially in light of recent cases and outbreaks on college campuses.
For the next few weeks we’ll be making the case that routinely vaccinating our children against this disease is the right thing to do, by taking an in-depth look at the stories and topics covered in this report.
We hope you will follow along, ask questions, share your thoughts and spread the word using #BVaccinated.
My son Evan was a pitcher for his college baseball team and in excellent health. Cherice was studying hard to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor. Caitlin was on the Dean’s list and the captain of her school’s dance team.
When you send your child off to college their future is full of hope and infinite possibilities. Meningococcal disease shouldn’t be one of them, but unfortunately young adults and college students are at increased risk for bacterial meningitis.
In recent weeks, there have been at least five meningococcal disease cases confirmed at college campuses across the United States, with an additional case suspected. At Providence College in Rhode Island, two students were diagnosed with serogroup B meningitis. At the University of Oregon, three students are reported to have meningococcemia; so far one case has been confirmed as serogroup B. This weekend, a student at Yale University in Connecticut was hospitalized for a suspected case of meningitis. We continue to hope for a quick recovery for each of these students.
Many of our M.O.M.s and T.E.A.M. members did not have the opportunity to protect their children or themselves from this terrible disease, but now you do.
We encourage all parents and college students to make sure they are up-to-date with the currently recommended vaccines, including the meningococcal booster before they leave for campus. They should also speak to their healthcare provider about the new vaccines to protect against serogroup B.
For our part, NMA will continue pushing forward until all children are protected from this disease and no family has to go through what our families have.