Employee & Community Health

What you should know about new MenB Vaccine

4/18/2016 by Dr. Robert M. Jacobson

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Employee and Community Health (ECH) now is offering the new meningococcal B vaccine, called MenB for short. The brand name for this vaccine is Bexsero®. Meningococcal B disease is very rare, but deadly. It occurs only 50 to 100 times a year in the U.S., most often in infants. But recent outbreaks at colleges have worried parents, and they have asked that their teenage children receive the vaccine. 

In 2015, the federal body of U.S. vaccine experts, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP), gave clinicians permission to offer MenB vaccine to teens and young adults 16 through 23 years old. The ACIP prefers 16 to 18 years of age to maximize the protection the vaccine offers. The ACIP gave permission, rather than a full recommendation, because the disease is so rare. Most insurance will cover this vaccine, including the Mayo Medical Plan and Vaccines for Children. 

if you or your teen qualifies for the vaccine, your primary care provider will provide a letter explaining why MenB vaccine is different, along with a MenB vaccination information statement. 

Dr. Robert M. Jacobson is a primary care pediatrician in Employee and Community Health's (ECH) Division of Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine and is the medical director of the ECH and Southeast Minnesota Region Immunization Program.