Meningitis Fears and Vaccine Supply Questions

Fears regarding the spread of meningitis prompt a new warning from the federal government. For the first time, the Centers For Disease Control is recommending meningitis vaccinations for all 11 and 12-year olds, as well as all first year college students living in dorms.

The CDC says these students are six times more likely to become infected with meningitis, adding that the recommendation stems from the development of a more advanced vaccine called Menactra.

Menactra remains in the early stages of production. It's manufacturer says only 5 million doses are expected to become available this year.

Meanwhile, a local doctor warns the new vaccine, while popular, may not be the cure-all some are hoping to find.

Craig Roberts of UW Health Services, says, "It's actually hard to support universal recommendations for vaccination with this vaccine because it in fact is a very rare disease, and also a very expensive vaccine, and it's not a perfect vaccine its still misses about a third of meningococcal cases that are caused by a strain of this material that is not even touch by the vaccine."

Roberts adds that the UW campus has not experienced a case of meningitis in more than two years.

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