Meningococcal B Update

Meningococcal B Update

New data published in the January 2019 issue of Pediatrics impacts clinical decision-making associated with the Meningococcal B Vaccine and is an update to an article concerning the vaccine that appeared in the Winter 2019 EPSDT Care for Kids newsletter.

The study analyzed data from the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System and enhanced meningococcal disease surveillance from 2014 to 2016. It shows that the relative risk (RR) of serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) disease in college students versus noncollege students was 3.54. (see note 1 below.) Serogroup B disease accounted for 58 percent of all meningococcal disease in the 18 to 24 year age group during the study.

The authors concluded that college students are at an increased risk for sporadic and outbreak-associated MenB disease, and that providers, college students, and parents should be made aware of the availability of MenB vaccines. An accompanying editorial suggests that based on these data, pediatricians and primary care providers have a more compelling reason to recommend the vaccine to their patients who anticipate attending college. (See note 2 below.)

  1. Pediatrics. Meningococcal Disease Among College-Aged Young Adults: 2014–2016. Available at: Accessed January 9, 2019.
  2. Pediatrics. Increased Risk of MenB Infection in College Students: Time to Reconsider Vaccine Recommendations? Available at: Accessed January 9, 2019.

Read the original article in the Winter 2019 issue of the EPSDT Care for Kids newsletter. Visit the EPSDT Care for Kids newsletter page.

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