A recent Statesman story about a father who contracted Type B meningitis while visiting his daughter during an outbreak at the University of Oregon made me shudder. As a meningitis survivor myself, I’ve learned firsthand how killer diseases are closer than we think and that we are all vulnerable. That’s why I made sure my daughter was fully vaccinated before she went to college, and why I know it’s important to get vaccinations into the hands of people who need them.
Type B meningitis is deadly and was seemingly unstoppable in the U.S. until this year, with several vaccines now approved for use. But a CDC committee currently recommends Type B vaccines be used only during outbreaks. It’s a policy that might look good on paper — but even during the Oregon outbreak, it left people scrambling to get kids vaccinated. Thankfully, this committee will meet soon to consider expanding its recommendation well beyond outbreaks, and including larger populations of young people.
Joy Cameron, Meridian