Has Your Child Received Meningitis B Vaccination?

Meningococcal disease, known as meningitis, is an uncommon but serious illness that can cause life-threatening complications and even death.1 There are two different types of vaccinations needed to help protect against the five vaccine-preventable groups of meningitis (one for groups A, C, W, and Y, and another for group B),2 but some doctors may not mention both, and not all parents know to ask for them.3

Get the facts and ask the right questions to "B sure" about meningitis B vaccination.

Get the Facts

So, what is meningitis anyway?

Meningitis is caused by bacteria carried in the nose or back of throat that can spread through saliva and close contact.1 Early symptoms of meningitis may be similar to those of the flu but can progress quickly and can be fatal, sometimes within 24 hours.4,6 Meningitis can attack the lining of the brain and spinal cord and, in some cases, cause a serious infection of the blood (sepsis).5

Meningitis B Facts
Risk Image

Okay, who's at risk?

Anyone can get meningitis, but rates of the disease peak in adolescence, with the highest rates among teens and young adults 16-23 years old.7 Meningitis can spread through behaviors such as living in close quarters, coughing, sneezing, kissing, and sharing drinks or utensils.1,8 Colleges are environments prone to the spread of meningitis B.9

From 2011 through March 2019, meningitis B caused all U.S. college meningococcal outbreaks, which involved
Meningitis Outbreak Results
Meningitis Outbreak Results
Meningitis Outbreak Results
among an at-risk population of approximately 253,000 students. 9

Help Protect Your Child

What can you do to help protect your teen or young adult?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccination is the best defense against meningococcal disease.10 Because most colleges still do not require meningitis B vaccination, many teens and young adults may miss vaccination.11.

CDC Data 2015-2018
Young Vax

But what if my child already got a meningitis vaccine at a younger age?

There are two different types of vaccinations needed to help protect against the 5 vaccine-preventable groups of meningitis (one for groups A, C, W, and Y and another for group B). Your child may have gotten a meningitis vaccine at a younger age, but meningitis B vaccination has only been available since 2014, and they may not have received it.11 CDC currently recommends meningitis B vaccination for adolescents and young adults aged 16-23 years (preferably ages 16-18) based on a conversation between a healthcare provider and a patient.13

Only about 1 in 5 17-year-olds in the US received at least one dose of meningitis B vaccination in 2019. 14

Start the Conversation

Even though the decision to vaccinate against meningitis B relies on an important conversation between the healthcare provider and parent, not all doctors will mention it.3,13 Ask your child's healthcare provider about meningitis B vaccination.

Start the Conversation

Before the Visit

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If you aren’t sure whether your teen or young adult has received meningitis B vaccination, contact their healthcare provider’s office and ask for your child’s vaccination records. If your child hasn’t had meningitis B vaccination yet, plan to ask about it at their next appointment. If they don’t have an upcoming appointment, don’t be afraid to make one!

"Has my child had both types of meningitis vaccinations?"

During the Visit

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If records confirm that your teen or young adult hasn't received meningitis B vaccination yet, ask their healthcare provider about vaccination during the appointment. Although uncommon, meningitis can have serious consequences, and according to the CDC, vaccination is the best defense against it.10

"Because of the potentially severe consequences of the disease, I want to ensure my child receives the two different types of vaccinations needed to help protect against meningitis."

After the Visit

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Meningitis B vaccination requires multiple doses. After the initial dose, schedule an appointment for the next dose and be sure your teen or young adult keeps the appointment. (Hint: don't be afraid to remind them!)

Calendar

Watch Personal Stories

Personal Stories
Jamie Story

JAMIE'S STORY
Words From a Meningitis Survivor

“In 24 hours, I went from feeling completely healthy to feeling like I had the flu, to feeling too sick to move, to lying in a hospital bed, fighting for my life. At one point, I was given a 20 percent chance of survival. For seven months, I stayed in the hospital in recovery, ultimately losing 80 pounds, as well as all my fingers and both legs. Today, I am an advocate for meningitis vaccination, in hopes that others won't have to go through a similar experience.”

– Jamie Schanbaum, GSK Advocate


PATSY’S STORY
Words From A Mom

“I was preparing to have my daughter Jamie come home from her first semester at college when I got the call every parent fears. She was in the hospital and I needed to get there immediately. When I got there, she was already in an induced coma and fighting to survive. I hope every parent can become informed about meningitis, and learn about the 2 types of vaccinations available to help protect against it.”

– Patsy Schanbaum, GSK Advocate



Jamie and Patsy are GSK spokespeople.
Patsy
Soleil Story

SOLEIL'S STORY

“I have four children, and they are my whole world. Like all moms, I want to help keep my kids healthy, and vaccinations are one of the ways I’ve tried to do that. I always ask a lot of questions and do my research, so I was surprised when I only recently learned about meningitis B.”

– Soleil Moon Frye, GSK Advocate


Resources for Media

Downloadable and shareable graphics

1 in 3 meningitis
3 out of 4 meningitis
1 in 10 graphic
Lack Discussion
Meningitis 2014
Meningitis Protect Kids

Resources

MeningitisB.com

Meningitis B Cases and Mandates Tracker

Meningitis B Fact Sheet For Parents

Video Resources

Meningitis B in 90 Seconds
Play a external video

Meningitis B 90

Meningitis B in 90 Seconds Video

College Bound? What You Need to Know About Meningitis

Tiffany Williams – My Brother’s Battle with Meningitis B
Play a external video

Tiffany Williams

Tiffany Williams My Brother’s Battle with Meningitis B

Jamie Schanbaum’s Story – Life After Meningitis
Play a external video

JamieSchanbaumsStory

Jamie Schanbaum’s Story
Life After Meningitis

A Meningitis Story from A Survivor and Her Mother Jamie and Patsy Schanbaum
Play a external video

A Meningitis Story

A Meningitis Story from A Survivor and Her Mother Jamie and Patsy Schanbaum

Best Friends Against Meningitis B

The more informed you are, the better equipped you will be to initiate important vaccination conversations with a healthcare professional, and ultimately make the best decisions for your teen or young adult. Start the conversation with your child's healthcare provider.

References

1. CDC. Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Chapter 8: Meningococcal Disease. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt08-mening.html. Accessed April 2021 2. CDC. Vaccines and Preventable Diseases. Meningococcal Vaccination for Adolescents: Information for Healthcare Professionals. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mening/hcp/adolescent-vaccine.html. Accessed April 2021. 3. Kempe, Alison et al. 2018. Adoption of Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine Recommendations. Pediatrics. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-0344. 4. CDC. Meningococcal Disease: Signs and Symptoms. https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/symptoms.html. Accessed April 2021. 5. CDC. Meningococcal Disease. https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/index.html. Accessed April 2021. 6. Pelton SI. Meningococcal disease awareness: clinical and epidemiological factors affecting prevention and management in adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2010;46:S9-S15 7. CDC. Meningococcal Disease: Clinical Information. https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/clinical-info.html. Accessed April 2021. 8. Meningitis. Overview. Mayo Clinic website. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/meningitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350508. Accessed April 2021. 9. Gary S Marshall, Amanda F Dempsey, Amit Srivastava, Raul E Isturiz, US College Students Are at Increased Risk for Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease, Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society,piz024, https://doi.org/10.1093/jpids/piz024 10. CDC. Meningococcal disease. https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/prevention.html. Accessed April 2021. 11. CDC. Vaccines and Preventable Diseases. Meningococcal Vaccination for Adolescents: Information for Healthcare Professionals. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mening/hcp/adolescent-vaccine.html. Accessed April 2021. 12. CDC. Enhanced Meningococcal Disease Surveillance Reports 2015-2018. www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/surveillance/index.html#enhancedreports. Accessed April 2021. 13. CDC. ACIP Shared Clinical Decision-Making Recommendations https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/acip-scdm-faqs.html. Accessed April 2021. 14. CDC. National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2019. 2020; 69(33). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6933-H.pdf. Accessed April 2021.