Thursday, July 13, 2017

Healthy Habits: Meningococcal Vaccine

During summer break, there are a lot of things for parents of teens and young adults to think about—is vaccination against meningococcal disease one of them?

Adolescents and young adults are the primary carriers of meningococcal bacteria, even if it doesn’t make them sick.[i],[ii] And some of their most typical behaviors—such as close-quartered living, sharing drinks and utensils, and kissing—can promote the transmission of meningococcal group B disease, also known as MenB, which is a type of meningococcal disease that includes bacterial meningitis.1,[iii]Still, some parents may not know the facts:
·         Meningococcal disease can progress rapidly, and early symptoms are difficult to distinguish from other more common infections—with flu-like symptoms such as headache, nausea and vomiting2
·         There are five common types of bacteria that cause invasive meningococcal disease—groups A, B, C, W, and Y[iv]
·         Even if a child previously received a vaccine for meningococcal disease (such as the MCV4 vaccine against groups A, C, W, and Y), he or she may not be protected against MenB[v]
·         MenB is not restricted only to college students; the estimated MenB incidence in college students is similar to, or lower than, the incidence in all 18-23 year olds[vi]
·         Despite the availability of antibiotic treatment, approximately 10% of patients with MenB die, and those who survive may be afflicted with long-term disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss or limb amputations4,[vii]
·         Although uncommon, MenB accounts for nearly 50% of all U.S. meningococcal cases in 17-22 year olds[viii]

Dr. Richard Chung, Director, Adolescent Medicine, Duke University and the Kimberly Coffey Foundation have partnered with Pfizer to educate parents about MenB and encourage them to learn more and speak with their healthcare provider about vaccinating their teen and young adult children against the disease.

The Kimberly Coffey Foundation was founded by Patti Wukovits after she lost her 17 year old daughter Kimberly Coffey to MenB. As a mother and a nurse, Patti was vigilant in having Kimberly vaccinated against meningococcal disease. Yet, she had the common misconception that the vaccine Kimberly received protected her; however, in 2012, there were no vaccines available in the U.S. to help protect against group B. Today, vaccines are available for group B.[ix] 

With teens and young adults home for summer break, now is a good time for parents to talk to their teen or young adult’s healthcare provider about a MenB vaccine. Visit KimberlyCoffeyFoundation or the Meet Meningitis Facebook page for more information about MenB.

[i] MacNeil J, Cohn A. Chapter 8: meningococcal disease. In: Roush SW, McIntyre L, Baldy LM. Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, 5th ed, Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2012. ines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt08-m ening.html. Accessed May 4, 2017.
[ii] Meningococcal Vaccines for Preteens, Teens. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website. atures/meningococcal/. Updated April 24, 2017. Accessed May 4, 2017.
[iii] Tully J, Viner RM, Coen FG, et al. Risk and protective factors for meningococcal disease in adolescents: matched cohort study. BMJ.2006;232(7539):445- 450.
[iv] Serogroup B Meningococcal (MenB) VIS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website. accines/hcp/vis/vis-statements /mening-serogroup.html. Updated August 9, 2016. Accessed May 4, 2017.
[v] Folaranmi T, Rubin L, Martin SW, Patel M, MacNeil JR. Use of serogroup B meningococcal vaccines in persons aged ≥10 years at increased risk for serogroup B meningococcal disease: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(22):608-612.
[vi] MacNeil J, Rubin L, Folaranmi T, Ortega-Sanchez IR, Patel M, Martin SW. Use of serogroup B meningococcal vaccines in adolescents and young adults: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(41):1171-1176.
[vii] Cohn A, MacNeil JR, Harrison LH, et al. Changes in neisseria meningitidis disease epidemiology in the United States, 1998- 2007: implications for prevention of meningococcal disease. Clin Infect Dis. 2010;50:184-191.
[viii] Soeters HM, McNamara LA, Whaley M, et al. Serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak and carriage evaluation at a college – Rhode Island, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(22):606-607.
[ix] Meningococcal Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website. accines/vpd/mening/public/inde x.html. Updated December 9, 2016. Accessed May 4, 2017.

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