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Meningitis (In The News)

  • Meningitis 

    What about the Meningitis Vaccine?   
    The Meningitis vaccine currently in use in the United States protects against the more common serogroups (A, C, Y W-135). There is currently no vaccine licensed in the United States that covers serogroup B. As such, even students who have been vaccinated against bacterial meningitis may still be vulnerable to serogroup B.
    I hear they are giving a special Meningitis B vaccine at Princeton, can I get it too?    
    The short answer is NO.  
    A vaccine that helps to protect against Meningitis B (called Bexsero®) had been approved for use in Europe and Australia since January 2013, but has not been FDA approved for use in the United States.  In the US, the vaccine is in its final stages of development and testing. Meningitis B is the most common serogroup in Europe, accounting for 80% of cases there, so it makes sense that they have been using it.  The FDA has now permitted the vaccine to be brought into the US and has turned to the CDC for guidance.   The CDC has advised that Princeton can begin offering the vaccine in early December to students living in campus housing whether on or off the main campus.  The vaccine will not be mandatory.  A booster dose of the vaccine is required two months after the initial dose.
    Princeton University began it's Meningitis B immunization this week (week of December 9th).   No new cases have been reported.
    An excellent source of information about Meningitis can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/vaccine-serogroupB.html 
     This page updated: 12/09/13