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UCSB Mulls Over Meningitis Vaccine Options

By Tracy Lehr, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
Published On: Dec 21 2013 12:49:19 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 21 2013 06:43:29 PM CST

The vaccine, which is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, was given to thousands of Princeton students last week after eight students were diagnosed with a strain of meningitis.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

A physician and parent of a UCSB student told NBC News a student would travel to Europe to get a vaccine to fight meningitis if necessary.

The vaccine, which is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, was given to thousands of Princeton students last week after eight students were diagnosed with a strain of meningitis.

Four students at UCSB have been treated for a similar B strain of meningitis and one Cal Poly srudent is being treated for viral miningitis.

UCSB and state and local health officials are still discussing their options. Since the vaccine being used in Princeton is not approved in the U.S., UCSB would need FDA approval to get it.

A dose on the open market costs in excess of $100 and students would need two doses.

The most serious case involves an 18-year-old UCSB student who had his feet amputated to prevent further spread of the deadly bacteria.

Bexsero is the name of the vaccine produced by a company called Novantis. Doctors are evaluating its effectiveness on the various strains of meningitis.

Many parents want them to act before the next quarter begins.

Health officials say its important to note there have been no new cases diagnosed among students since Nov. 21.  

Information about the UCSB meningitis outbreak can be found on the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov

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