Foundation welcomes US MenB vaccine recommendation

Foundation welcomes US MenB vaccine recommendation

30 June 2015

International Charity Meningitis Research Foundation welcomes the news that the Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is extending their recommendation to vaccinate against meningococcal Group B (MenB) meningitis to all young adults in the USA.

Currently, adolescents in the USA are routinely vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis Groups A, C, W and Y. Group B has only been recommended for high-risk adolescents, The new recommendation is for all young adults aged between 16 and 23 years, with the preferred age being between 16 and 18.

However, the recommendation falls short of introducing MenB vaccine into the routine immunisation schedule. Instead, the committee voted for a category B or "permissive" recommendation in adolescents. A "permissive" recommendation leaves it up to each parent and child to make the decision to vaccinate after a qualified health professional assesses their risk.

The ACIP recommendation is, though, enough to trigger financial coverage from most American’s health insurance. For the uninsured, ACIP voted for coverage through the Vaccines for Children Fund - a Federal fund which ensures access to vaccines for uninsured children up to the age of 18.

The meningococcal bacteria is one of a number of bacteria that can cause life-threating meningitis and septicaemia – the blood poisoning form of the disease. Bacterial meningitis and septicaemia can kill people in hours and can leave many others with life-altering disabilities, such as limb loss and brain damage. In the USA, adolescents are most at risk from the Group B form of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia.

Chris Head, Chief Executive of Meningitis Research Foundation commented, “While this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction for protecting the children of the USA against this deadly disease, we are disappointed that, unlike vaccines against other forms of the diseases, it is yet to become part of the routine adolescent vaccination program.”

Sam Williams
Media Relations Manager

Hi, I’m Sam and I’m MRF's PR Manager.

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