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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

CDC Vaccination Recommendation Falls Short of Protection against Meningitis B

Written by: | | Dated: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a sub committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today recommended that newly available vaccinations to combat the “B” strain of meningitis only be considered for use by individuals and their physicians. The committee opted to recommend the meningitis vaccine as category B rather than category A. According to the CDC, Category A recommendations are made for all individuals in an age or risk-factor-based group. Category B recommendations are made for individual clinical decision-making, meaning vaccination against this disease will not be universal despite it being preventable.

Global Healthy Living Foundation staff attended today’s meeting and GHLF Ambassador Neal Raisman spoke to the committee, asking them to grant the widest recommendation possible. – a Category A recommendation. Raisman lost his 26 year old son Isaac to meningitis in 2005.

“This is an incremental step forward in protecting our population from this deadly disease,” said Raisman. This recommendation means that those who know enough to request the vaccination from their doctors will get it, but isn’t it critical that we absolutely protect everyone? Meningitis took my son—and if we can stop that from happening to another family we must do so.”

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation determines states’ action to add vaccines to their immunization schedule.

Families like the Raismans who have lost children to the deadly disease advocated that the new vaccines to be added to the current vaccination recommendations for college-aged students, who are more susceptible to meningitis because of the way it is spread—through close personal contact including dorm living. Currently, a vaccine that covers four strains of the disease is recommended for college age children and many states and colleges require the vaccination.

“We hope that as more data about the impact of meningitis B becomes available, the ACIP committee members will make the widest possible recommendation for these vaccines to be available, so we can see an end to the devastation this disease causes,” said Louis Tharp, Executive Director of Global Healthy Living Foundation.

In the past few years, outbreaks of the “B” strains have occurred at colleges across the country, including Princeton University, University of California at Santa Barbara, and Georgetown University. In the last several weeks, a seventh case was diagnosed at the University of Oregon—and one student there died from the disease. ACIP members heard from several families impacted by the disease as well as one survivor of meningitis B at today’s meeting.

About the Global Healthy Living Foundation:

The Global Healthy Living Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people living with chronic illnesses by advocating for improved access to care at the community, state, and federal levels, and amplifying education and awareness efforts within its social media framework. The Global Healthy Living Foundation is the parent organization of CreakyJoints, the online, non-profit, arthritis patient support community with more than 80,000 members and their families in all 50 states, Western Europe, South America and Australia, and the recently launched Arthritis Power, the first ever patient-led, patient-generated, patient-centered research registry for arthritis.

Source: Business Wire Health

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