AAP Daily Briefing - Meningitis B

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“the B strain ‘has been the cause of most of the meningitis outbreaks at colleges and universities across the country’”

November 17, 2018
AAP

SUMMARY

Medical Groups Ask Universities To Require Meningitis B Vaccine.

The AP (8/18) reported a coalition of immunization groups, joined by “the mother of a student who died from bacterial meningitis,” are imploring the University of Wisconsin-Madison to require students to be vaccinated against meningitis B. However, Dr. William Kinsey, Medical Director at UW-Madison, said, “We are not convinced that the benefit lasts long enough that we know it’s worth vaccinating everyone for it.” At the university, about 70 percent of undergraduates “received the first dose of meningitis B vaccine in 2016 after three students developed serious cases.”

Similarly, the Baltimore Sun (8/14) reports Maryland’s largest physician’s group, the Maryland State Medical Society, or MedChi, “called on the University of Maryland to require its students to get the meningitis B vaccine.” The organization “said the life-threatening condition can spread easily in dormitories, classrooms and places where students are in close quarters,” and that the B strain “has been the cause of most of the meningitis outbreaks at colleges and universities across the country, including multiple outbreaks last school year,” the article says.

Finally, the Penn State University Daily Collegian (8/24) reported that the Indiana Immunization Coalition has created the “Beware of B” campaign in an effort to lobby all 14 Big Ten schools to require students be immunized for MenB prior to enrollment. “Penn State’s University Health Services “strongly recommends” the meningitis B vaccine, but does not list it as mandatory for enrolled students,” the article reported, noting that the school bases its vaccine requirements on state law, CDC guidelines, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, “none of which tell schools to mandate the meningitis B vaccine.”

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Emma Harrison