The Today Show aired a segment this morning about a mom who is taking a group of young adults to Canada to be vaccinated with Bexsero - motivated by the death of her daughter from MenB in January of this year. (http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/53640025/#55190715);
My heart breaks for her - I can only imagine her pain. It's tragic that her daughter died - MenB is indeed a serious infection.
Bexsero is approved in the EU (http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/medicines/human/medicines/002333/human_med_001614.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac058001d124) and now is also approved in the UK (as of March 2014 - http://www.meningitis.org/menb-vaccine) though it is not yet available - the hold up being negotiations on price. Bexsero is not yet approved by the FDA in the US (though it was given a provisional approval for use on Princeton and UCSB campuses in response to the cluster of cases of MenB); Novartis plans to submit an application for formal approval by the FDA
While MenB is a serious infection and can cause death and/or serious sequelae it is also not very common - according to the CDC there are less 200 cases/year of MenB out of a total of 500 cases of all types of meningitis (2012 data - http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/outbreaks/vaccine-serogroupB.html);
The efficacy of Bexsero is unknown - it is simply assumed to work because antibodies are
generated in response to receipt of the vaccine:
The efficacy of Bexsero has not been evaluated through clinical trials. Vaccine efficacy has been inferred by demonstrating the induction of serum bactericidal antibody responses to each of the vaccine antigens (see section Immunogenicity).From:
http://www.bexsero.com/assets/SMPC-2013-01-30.pdf (page 7);
Aluminum is used as an adjuvant to help stimulate the immune response - .5mg/dose (see page 19 of the above link), 2 doses are recommended.
Some believe strongly in the necessity of vaccination, and believe the benefits outweigh the risks - they should be vaccinated if they so choose.
No one should be required to be vaccinated as we no so little about the long-term consequences of repeated exposure to these products.
We know that use of antibiotics changes the microbiome - and not always for the better, is it possible that use of vaccines is also a factor in this?
We think we can achieve "herd" immunity via vaccination ... perhaps we just need to take better care of one another - not "herd" the "herd" into cramped, high-density living quarters - this is a known risk factor for virtually any disease, let alone MenB. We've barely begun to recognize that CAFO produce unhealthy food/meat ... besides animals deserve better - that is not stewardship, it's abuse - no creature deserves to be treated in that manner, even if it's destiny is death for the sake of feeding humans! If this is true of a lower order of creation, it is all the more true of the pinnacle of creation - humans, made in the Imagio Deo!