The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) subcommittee recommended that the use of new meningitis B vaccines be considered, but not required, by physicians and individuals on Wednesday.
Rather than requiring everyone receive the meningitis B vaccine, the subcommittee chose to recommend that use of the vaccine be on an individual basis and placed in the CDC's category B rather than category A. The CDC category A recommendations are specifically for people who qualify in a risk- or age-factor based group; category B recommendations are specifically for individual decisions.
The ACIP recommendation to place the new vaccine below universal use came after a meeting that included staff from the Global Healthy Living Foundation, who had urged that the vaccine be given the broader category A designation.
“This is an incremental step forward in protecting our population from this deadly disease,” Global Healthy Living Foundation Ambassador Neal Raisman said. “This recommendation means that those who know enough to request the vaccination from their doctors will get it, but isn’t it critical that we absolutely protect everyone? Meningitis took my son — and if we can stop that from happening to another family we must do so.”
The ACIP recommendations are used to help states determine which vaccinations to add to their immunization programs.
“We hope that as more data about the impact of meningitis B becomes available, the ACIP committee members will make the widest possible recommendation for these vaccines to be available, so we can see an end to the devastation this disease causes,” Executive Director of Global Healthy Living Foundation Executive Director Louis Tharp said.