June 25, 2015
Contact: Cindy Hoang, National Consumers League, email@example.com or (202) 207-2832
Washington, DC—Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) failed to give a broad recommendation for vaccination against meningitis B (MenB), and instead stated that only through individual patient decisions, and not as part of the routine vaccine schedule, should teens and young adults receive the MenB vaccine. The ACIP met yesterday at the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The National Consumers League (NCL) is disappointed in this decision which has the potential to put at risk millions of teens and young adults for contracting the debilitating MenB disease. “We see no reason to expose anyone to this terrible illness when protection and prevention is available,” said Kamay Lafalaise, health policy associate for NCL, at the hearing at the CDC. “NCL believes the MenB vaccine should be part of the routine vaccination schedule to ensure parents and young people have access to the vaccine before another outbreak occurs.”
NCL is concerned that if the vaccine is not part of the routine schedule, few young people will get vaccinated against this rare but devastating illness. “We hope that no more families have to endure the pain and loss that MenB can cause,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of NCL. “We are pleased that ACIP broadened the recommendation to all youth populations, not just those ‘at risk’ but we don’t think this is enough.”
According to the CDC there are approximately 160 reported cases annually of MenB; 10 to 15 percent of patients die and up to 19 percent of survivors have long term disabilities, including brain damage and limb amputations.
NCL asked the ACIP committee to add the vaccine to the routine schedule so that all college age students have this critical protection.
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.