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Published On: Sat, Feb 1st, 2014

UC Santa Barbara will be offering the meningitis B vaccine, Bexsero, starting Feb. 24

In a follow-up to a story one month ago, The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), who has experienced four cases of meningococcal meningitis group B during a three week time frame in Nov. 2013, will be offering the unlicensed in the US, Novartis vaccine Bexsero starting Feb. 24, according to a UCSB Student Health announcement Friday.

Public domain image/Mikael Häggström

Public domain image/Mikael Häggström

On Dec. 31, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced they were moving forward with an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the goal of being able to use a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine that is licensed for use in Europe, Canada, and Australia in response to the UCSB outbreak.

On Jan. 31, the CDC said the IND was approved and will allow access to the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine during the UCSB outbreak for those identified as being at increased risk. The vaccine campaign will take place February 24 through March 7, 2014.

UCSB says they will begin administering the two-dose series vaccine starting on Monday, February 24, from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. and will continue weekdays Tuesday, February 25 through Friday, March 7, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Multi-Activity Court (MAC).

University officials say to be eligible for the vaccine, based on CDC recommendations:

  • All undergraduate students and University Immersion Program students
  • Those graduate students, faculty, and staff who reside in UCSB-owned dormitory-style residence halls; and
  • Those graduate students, faculty, and staff who have one of the following medical conditions: functional and anatomic asplenia (i.e., those without a spleen or those whose spleen is not working normally, including those with sickle cell disease) or persistent complement component deficiencies (C5-C9, properdin, factor H, factor D)

The CDC recommends these groups receive the vaccine because young adults and people with certain medical conditions are at increased risk of getting meningococcal disease, especially those who live in close quarters, such as dormitories.

Related story: CDC expert: Use of unlicensed vaccine, Bexsero, ‘highly unusual’

The second dose in the vaccination series will be offered about one month after the first dose.

The vaccine will be offered to eligible individuals at not cost.

Princeton University in New Jersey got similar approval to use the unlicensed vaccine in Dec. 2013 after experiencing a declared outbreak of eight cases of the B strain of Neisseria meningitidis.

According to the CDC, “More than 8,000 infants, children, adolescents, and adults were safely vaccinated with the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine as part of the studies that resulted in its approval in Europe, Canada, and Australia. Like any vaccine, this one can potentially cause a serious problem such as a severe allergic reaction, though the risk of serious harm from the vaccine is extremely small.” In December 2013, an additional 5,000 doses were given to Princeton University students without any unusual reactions being reported.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Meninigitis B vaccines to be offered at UW-Madison | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] University, Providence College, University of Oregon, Georgetown University, Rutgers University, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), Drexel University and Princeton University, which recorded an outbreak of eight cases in […]

  2. Princeton meningitis strain confirmed in Drexel fatal case - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Princeton and the University of California, Santa Barbara had reported meningitis B outbreaks and received special permission to administer the unlicensed […]

  3. Bexsero, meningitis B vaccine, receives FDA Breakthrough Therapy designation - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] has provided nearly 30,000 doses of Bexsero to students and staff at Princeton University and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) following meningitis B outbreaks on their campuses under an Investigational New Drug (IND) […]

  4. Bexsero, meningitis B vaccine vaccination campaign results released - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Bexsero was also recently provided in the US to students at Princeton University and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) under a treatment Investigational New Drug (IND) designation from the US Food and Drug […]

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  18. David says:

    So the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will allow a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine that is licensed for use in Europe, Canada, and Australia in response to the UCSB outbreak. But it pursues and prosecutes doctors who prescribed cancer drugs from Canada at half the price of the exact drugs sold in the USA. Hippocrates.

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