Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Don't Wait to Vaccinate for Meningococcal Disease.

Two cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease have been confirmed at Santa Clara University in California. The university will now have to scramble to implement vaccine clinics to protect other students. We urge communities and schools to please be proactive - not reactive - and vaccinate now for MenB and the other four serogroups of this disease. Serogroup B is the most common serogroup in the US right now. Please do not put these vaccinations on your "to do" list or think this disease can't strike your child. And remember this is not just a college disease.

This is an issue near and dear to our hearts here at Nurses Who Vaccinate. Executive Board member Patti Wukovitis's daughter Kimberly was a high school senior when she contracted meningitis B and passed away. Please note that 11-25 years old are the ages of highest risk.

We will keep these students in our prayers and also pray that this does not turn into an outbreak situation.

Please see below for a recent statement from Patti Wukovits, RN, Executive Director, The Kimberly Coffey Foundation


In light of today’s news of two confirmed cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease at the University of Santa Clara in California, we urge all adolescents and young adults ages 10-25 to be vaccinated with a serogroup B vaccine series in addition to a quadrivalent (serogroups A,C,W and Y) meningococcal conjugate vaccine. This will offer you the best protection against all five serogroups of meningococcal disease (more commonly referred to as bacterial meningitis). Please do not assume that you are protected against serogroup B (MenB) if you have been vaccinated for meningococcal disease unless you have received this very important ADDITIONAL vaccine. Serogroup B currently accounts for 40% of meningococcal disease in the U.S. and is not just a college disease.

My 17-year-old daughter, Kimberly Coffey, died in 2012 from serogroup B meningococcal disease just three days before her high school graduation.  As a parent, I had the false sense of security that Kimberly was fully protected because she had been vaccinated for meningococcal disease. As it turns out, she was not because the quadrivalent conjugate vaccine does not include or protect against serogroup B. In 2012 Kimberly didn’t have the opportunity to be protected against serogroup B. But because serogroup B vaccines are now available as of 2014, you do. Please, please get vaccinated.

Visit our website for further information about the symptoms, protection and transmission of meningococcal disease.  If you require assistance in finding vaccination for MenB, we can help you locate a provider in your area. Contact Patti Wukovits, RN at 

Patti Wukovits, R.N.
Executive Director

Patti Wukovits, R.N. Secretary of Nurses Who Vaccinate
Patti Wukovits has been a registered nurse for 9 years. She is the Executive Director of The Kimberly Coffey Foundation, a foundation she and her husband established after the loss of her daughter Kim. The Kimberly Coffey Foundation’s mission is to educate the public and healthcare professionals about bacterial meningitis (meningococcal disease), including the symptoms of the disease and the importance of prevention through vaccination. Patti has also made The Kimberly Coffey Memorial Nursing Scholarship available in Kim's name as Kim’s dream was to be a pediatric nurse. She is a M.O.M. (Moms on Meningitis) with the National Meningitis Association. Married with 4 children (her son Chris, her daughter Kim, her stepdaughter Jaclyn and her stepson John). 

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