Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Help Stop Meningitis in New York!

Pro-science parents and nurses- your support this week is critical! The New York State meningococcal bill S4324a/A791c is now on Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk for his consideration.This is the final step and the Governor will likely make his decision this week.

The NYS Meningococcal Immunization Bill would require all seventh and twelfth grade students to be immunized with the current meningococcal vaccine. 
JUSTIFICATION: According to the CDC, roughly 1,000 - 1,200 people contract meningococcal disease each year in the United States. Between ten and fifteen percent of these cases are fatal. Eleven to nineteen percent of those who survive will suffer from permanent hearing loss,developmental delays, loss of limbs, or other serious conditions. This bill would require meningococcal vaccinations for students entering the seventh and twelfth grades. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which provides advice and guidance to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends a single dose of vaccine be administered at age 11 or 12, and a booster at age 16. Currently, more than 20 states require meningococcal vaccines.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2014: S.7348 Referred to Health
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None noted. Health plans in the state of New York are required to cover preventive and primary care services, including necessary immunizations. Additionally, the Vaccines for Children (VFC)program is a federally funded program that provides ACIP recommended vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

Supporters of this bill are asking everyone to please call, write an email and fax letters in support of the bill today.

Phone Calls:

The Governor's office can be reached at 1-518-474-8390. Out-of-state residents are allowed to call to voice their support and NYS residents please be sure to provide your zip code.


Emails should be directed to: Alphonso David, Counsel to the Governor c/o Katherine Santandrea, Executive Assistant to Alphonso David

Please include in the subject line of e-mails: Support for NY Meningococcal Immunization Bill (S.4324-A/ A.791-C)

Suggestion of some sample wording in email:

Dear Mr. Alphonso David:

Please help support 
The New York State meningococcal bill S4324c/A791aNew York State needs this very important bill to be signed into law so that not one more person will contract or die unnecessarily from meningococcal disease – a vaccine preventable disease! This bill will, no doubt, save hundreds of lives and save hundreds from the devastating side effects of the disease, such as limb amputations and neurologic deficits. Meningococcal disease can kill an otherwise healthy person within 24 hours!

This bill targets vaccination of the ages with the highest rates of meningococcal disease, specifically preteen, teen, and young adults. I believe it should be mandated for this high risk group. It is the most effective way to avert a catastrophic disease in young people who usually contract the disease in a school setting.

I urge you to please pass this bill into law.
Emails can also be sent to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via his website contact page:
You can also mail him directly at gov.cuomo@chamber.state.ny.us

Postal Service:

Please write a letter to the governor (you can use the above template but please include your own thoughts) asking him to support (S.4324-A/ A.791-C)
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

FAX your letter: 518-4741513

There is some false misinformation being circulated in opposition of this bill. Below are the common misconceptions and rebuttals. 

1    FALSE STATEMENT: “There have been no deaths from meningococcal meningitis in the age group targeted by this bill in New York in the past five years.”
FACT: As one example, a 17-year-old high school senior died from meningococcal disease in the bill’s targeted age group within the past five years (2012) in New York State. www.kimberlycoffeyfoundation.org

      FALSE STATEMENT: “One can reasonably expect 4,000 serious injuries and 12 deaths every year from annually vaccinating 400,000 New York students to prevent a handful of meningococcal meningitis cases.”
FACT: During 2005-2011, an estimated 800-1,200 cases of meningococcal disease occurred annually in the United States. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/mening.html#

      FALSE STATEMENT:  The bill “also includes a mandate for vaccines for the B-strain of meningococcal meningitis, even though there are no vaccines for meningitis B licensed for use in the United States.”
FACT:   Serogroup B vaccines are licensed in the United States as of 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/vaccine-info.html
Because serogroup B vaccines were given a permissive category B recommendation by ACIP in June 2015, the proposed bill does not, at this time, include vaccines for serogroup B meningococcal disease. The bill is for protection with the current ACIP recommended meningococcal vaccines which protect against serogroups A,C,W & Y.

Please share this message with friends and family and please post to social media. 

For additional information please cont
Patti Wukovits, R.N., Nurses Who Vaccinate Meningitis Advocacy Director


Albany, New York


-CDC- Meningitis

-MAYO Clinic- Meningitis

MedlinePlus- Meningitis