Panel recommends new meningitis vaccines only for outbreaks, not routine shots

A federal panel is recommending that two new meningitis vaccines only be used during outbreaks and not be given routinely to teens and college students.

The two vaccines target B strain meningococcal (mehn-ihn-joh-KAHK'-ul) infections, which can lead to deadly meningitis or blood infections. Full vaccination costs more than $300.

Routine shots against other strains of bacterial meningitis are already recommended for that age group.

The B strain is rare but there have been outbreaks at colleges recently, including at least two this year at the University of Oregon and Providence College in Rhode Island.

Thursday's recommendation — if adopted by the government — would influence the use of the new vaccines by doctors and insurance coverage.



Vaccine panel: