Upon entrance to a university, students are expected to have a series of vaccinations to protect themselves and others from various communicable diseases. Meningitis is included on this list of preventable ailments. However, meningitis B isn’t covered by Princeton’s, or any university for that matter, vaccination protocol. Seven Princeton students have been infected by the affliction since March of this year; the most recent case has landed a student in the hospital. Quick and decisive preventative action is needed.
Bacterial meningitis is no joke, the disease can be transferred through shared saliva by kissing, drink sharing, etc. It causes an inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord, and has the potential to be deadly. Symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, sore neck, sensitivity to light and fever. Other strains of the virus are more easily prevented by vaccine because they are more simple than the complex structure of the B strain.
Novartis, a Switzerland-based drug maker, has developed a vaccine for meningitis B. Their vaccine has been approved for use overseas due to the heightened risk of meningitis B in Europe and Australia. However, there is one problem. The vaccine made by Novartis has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the U.S. The vaccine has been approved to be used on Princeton students, which may eventually help Novartis get the FDA’s approval in the end.
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