Parents with kids in college now have one more thing to worry about: meningitis.
In September of this year, a Georgetown University student died from serogroup B Meningococcal disease — better known as meningitis B. Last month, health officials confirmed that a San Diego State University freshman was killed by the same strain. Outbreaks at Princeton University and the University of California at Santa Barbara affected 13 people last year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that even when treated with antibiotics, this form of meningitis has a high mortality rate of 10 to 15 percent. Those who survive still face an 11 to 19 percent chance of losing a limb, becoming deaf or mentally impaired, or suffering seizures or strokes.
In response to these outbreaks, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new meningitis B vaccine called Trumenba for those aged 10 to 25. Given the danger to college students and others, the FDA accelerated its normal approval process.
“Recent outbreaks of serogroup B Meningococcal disease on a few college campuses have heightened concerns for this potentially deadly disease,” explained Karen Midthun, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
There are already vaccines to protect against other strands of meningococcal disease on the market. One of the most common is Menactra, which is given to those between nine months and 55 years of age.
While meningitis vaccines are safe and effective for most people, some folks can experience serious side effects.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned of a possible connection between Menactra and Guillain-Barré Syndrome. GBS is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack its nerves. Symptoms usually begin with tingling and weakness in a patient’s legs before spreading to the rest of the body. Occasionally, GBS can lead to paralysis.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information has noted that since GBS is most likely caused by an immune response, all vaccinations could cause GBS. Therefore, those who eventually receive Trumenba could also contract the disease.
Another possible side effect is Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration. SIRVA has a variety of causes. For example, if a health worker injects a vaccine too high on a patient’s shoulder, SIRVA can be the result. People with low body mass can also develop SIRVA if the needle dispensing the vaccine is too long and over penetrates their deltoid muscle.
Fortunately, patients harmed by vaccines can receive compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which was established by Congress in 1988.
For the most up-to-date list of vaccines covered by the VICP, check out the vaccine injury table published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Patients injured by meningococcal vaccines are among those eligible for compensation.
If you have experienced an adverse reaction such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome, or any other illness subsequent to receiving a vaccine, please contact us today. Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is available to provide you with a free telephone consultation. This vaccine attorney is a seasoned litigator whose practice is dedicated to serving those injured by vaccines.