By Timothy Flynn, M.D.
In the past decade there have been at least 14 outbreaks of a particular bacteria called serotype B Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis B) on college campuses throughout the country. These outbreaks tend to be relatively small, but young adults who become infected can become critically ill and some suffer long term health consequences or even die. Students who live on campus are most at risk for getting sick. The meningitis B vaccine is required by one local college and recommended by several others in the Philadelphia area.
It is important to realize that the meningitis B vaccine is different than the meningitis vaccine that children get at ages 11 and 16 years old. The vaccines are different and the childhood vaccine does not protect young adults from the type of bacteria that causes these outbreaks.
If you have questions about the status of your child’s vaccinations or to schedule a meningitis B vaccine please call our office.