Two Mothers Affected By Meningitis B Launch The Meningitis B Action Project To Put A Stop To The Vaccine-Preventable Disease

Meningitis B Action Project Logo

“What I didn’t know, and what so many parents still don’t realize, is that there is a separate strain of meningococcal disease – MenB – that is not covered by the traditional, more widely-known meningitis vaccine,”said Patti Wukovits, co-founder of the Meningitis B Action Project.

The Meningitis B Action Project launched today with a cross-country campaign initiated by two mothers who each lost their young, healthy daughters to Meningitis B five years ago. The Project aims to provide parents and young adults with the information to proactively talk to their healthcare provider about Meningitis B and the vaccine available to help prevent it, and to encourage the medical and education community to inform patients and students about the availability of the Meningitis B vaccine.

Meningococcal disease, one of the most common types of bacterial meningitis, is a life-threatening bacterial infection caused by five types of meningococcal bacteria – A, B, C, W, and Y. It affects all ages, but is more common among 16-23 year olds. Meningitis B accounts for nearly 50% of all meningococcal disease cases among 17-22 year olds in the U.S., and 100% of all meningococcal disease outbreaks on college campuses in the U.S. since 2011. 44 college campuses have reported cases of meningococcal disease since 2013.

Two separate vaccines, MenACWY and MenB, are necessary to be fully immunized against the disease. The MenACWY vaccine is recommended for 11-12 year olds, with a booster shot at 16. The MenB vaccine is suggested for 16-23 year olds, preferably at 16 through 18 years old, and only recently became available in the U.S. in late 2014. However, while most adolescents and young adults have received the MenACWY vaccine, few have received the MenB vaccine largely due to lack of awareness of its availability.

The Project is a joint initiative by Patti Wukovits and Alicia Stillman who each lost their daughters to Meningitis B. High school senior Kimberly Coffey, 17, died a few days before her graduation. College sophomore Emily Stillman, 19, died just 36 hours after her first symptoms. While both had received the MenACWY vaccine, the MenB vaccine was…

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