We are offering vaccination for Meningitis B (with Bexsero) to students finishing high school or in early college. This new immunization recently approved by the FDA offers protection not included in standard meningitis vaccines previously given to your student at ages 11-12 and 16-18. Bexsero is administered in a two-dose series, given one month apart.
According to the FDA and CDC, immunization against Meningitis B may be offered as an optional immunization to anyone 16 through 23 years of age to provide short term protection against most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease. It is thought that there may be an increased risk of meningococcal disease in teens and young adults living in close quarters (e.g. those residing in dormitories or military barracks, doing mission work overseas, etc.). There have been documented localized outbreaks of Meningitis B at several universities in recent years (Santa Clara University, University of Oregon, Princeton, UC Santa Barbara, and Providence College) leading to several deaths, limb amputations, and other serious outcomes.
Immunization against Meningitis B is specifically recommended by the FDA and CDC to reduce risk of serogroup B meningitis in high risk groups: patients without a functioning spleen; patients with persistent complement component deficiency; patients who are taking eculizamab known as Soliris; and, microbiologists studying N. meningitides bacteria.
We are offering our families the choice to immunize against Meningitis B with Bexsero. This vaccine is given as 2 doses, at least one month apart. Given the relatively “short-term” protection offered (thought to be a few years at most), we are choosing to make this recommendation for students finishing high school who may be living in dormitories or other similar environments in the near future.
Go to the Meningitis B Vaccine Information for more detailed information provided by the Center for Disease Control.