On June 24th, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will be meeting to discuss recommendations for the serogroup B meningococcal vaccines which recently became available in the U.S.
In February, they voted to recommend the meningitis B vaccine for a limited number of sub-populations at increased risk. While that was a step forward, NMA hopes ACIP will vote for recommendations to protect all adolescents and college students.
We hope you’ve been following along as we’ve discussed why this recommendation is so important (if not, you can catch up here), and that we’ve inspired you to take action.
ACIP accepts written testimony for review when considering its vote and NMA has developed an open letter to the committee (below) on which we would welcome your support.
Let’s make sure no one else has to experience the devastating impact of this disease!
June 24, 2015
Members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices:
For young adults, the future is full of hope and infinite possibilities. Meningococcal disease shouldn’t be one of them.
We are writing to you because we or someone we know has been touched by this disease, or because we recognize the terrible impact this disease has on those affected (individual comments are attached). Those of us who were affected by serogroup B disease did not have the opportunity to protect ourselves or our loved ones.
This disease can strike so quickly and can be indescribably devastating. One day someone is healthy and then the next day he’s fighting for his life. You’ve heard from many people who have lost loved ones or who have survived but will be dealing with the impact of the illness for the rest of their lives. There are many more whose stories haven’t been told. In recent years it has also become clear how even one case in a college setting has major repercussions as many colleges have had to deal with cases and even outbreaks of serogroup B on campus. Prevention is critical.
The majority of people want to protect themselves and their children from meningitis; nearly 80% of U.S. teens receive their first dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine. But that is not enough. Many people think that they or their children are fully protected by the currently recommended meningococcal vaccines. Others are asking their doctors for the B vaccine and are being told that it is not available or are having difficulty getting it.
Now that meningitis B vaccines are available, we urge you to do the right thing. We urge you to recommend routine vaccination against serogroup B meningococcal disease, making it easy for all of us to protect our teens.
Click here to sign on and show your support.
This post is part of the #BVaccinated series based on NMA’s report, Beyond the Science: Putting a Face on Meningococcal Disease. As national policy regarding serogroup B meningococcal vaccination is discussed and implemented, NMA urges all those involved to consider these perspectives. We believe that routinely vaccinating our children against this disease is the right thing to do.