Parents of UC Santa Barbara students want meningitis vaccine
December 23, 2013
After four University of California, Santa Barbara students contracted meningitis B, parents are questioning why their children are not able to get the vaccine which was made available to students at Princeton. [ABCNews]
Even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection recommends that all adolescents receive a meningitis vaccination, there is no vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to protect against meningitis B. In January, the European Commission authorized the meningitis B vaccine for use.
Last month, the FDA approved the importation of the vaccine for students at Princeton where eight students have been treated for meningitis B this year.
However, health officials have not approved the vaccine for use at UCSB where freshman Aaron Loy had his feet amputated as a result of being infected by meningitis.
“We consider vaccinating when there’s a sustained outbreak and ongoing transmission, and it looks like there’s a continuing risk for the students,” said Dr. Thomas Clark, chief of the meningitis branch at the CDC to ABC News. “If you look back at the meningitis [strain B] outbreaks we’ve seen, out of the 13 we looked at, 11 were four cases or fewer.”