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Peters, Stabenow, Slotkin Work to Raise Awareness for Meningitis B Prevention

Senators and Congresswoman Led Introduction of Bicameral Resolution

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (MI) and Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Representative Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) are working to raise awareness for meningitis B prevention and treatment. April 24 is World Meningitis Day, and Peters, Stabenow and Slotkin recently led the introduction of a bicameral resolution to recognize the importance of confronting meningitis B. Although this disease kills or disables over 170,000 patients across the globe annually, few in the U.S. have received meningitis B vaccines due to a lack of public awareness.

“In 2019, no parent should have to experience the pain of losing a child to a vaccine-preventable disease,” said Senator Peters. “This resolution highlights the need to expand awareness of both the dangers of meningitis B and the vaccinations that prevent it, and I look forward to supporting further efforts in Congress to help more families protect their children’s health.”

“When a parent sends their child off to college, the last thing they are thinking about is that their child could become seriously ill,” said Senator Stabenow. “This resolution helps ensure that parents know the risk for Meningitis B and know that it’s preventable.”

“We know that infants, adolescents, and young adults are among those with the greatest risk for meningococcal disease – which is both potentially deadly and highly preventable with a vaccine,” said Representative Slotkin. “We must work harder to confront this deadly disease and support community efforts to ensure as many young people as possible are protected.”

“I am so appreciative of Senator Peters, Senator Stabenow and Representative Slotkin for introducing the 2019 Meningitis B Awareness Day Resolution,” said Alicia Stillman of West Bloomfield, Director of the Emily Stillman Foundation, Co-Director of the Meningitis B Action Project, and loving mother to Emily, who went to Kalamazoo College. “Meningitis B is a very serious disease that killed my 19 year old daughter Emily during her second year of college in 2013.  Six years later, we now have vaccines available to prevent this disease, but sadly many people are still unaware of this. I am hopeful that this resolution will help us educate all adolescents and their parents for the need for this very important Meningitis B vaccine in addition to the MenACWY vaccine they already get at ages 11 and 16.  I am hopeful that this resolution will help us educate Colleges and Universities for the need to protect their student bodies with this additional vaccine. Finally, I am hopeful that the members of the medical community will see the Congressional commitment as encouragement to engage and protect every patient at every opportunity by increasing the vaccination rates against this disease.”

While meningitis B has been found to claim the lives of approximately ten to twenty percent of patients within the first forty-eight hours of initial symptoms, most Americans are currently ill-informed regarding the life-threatening danger this disease poses, especially for children and teenagers. This bicameral resolution aims to rectify this issue by underscoring the seriousness of this disease and highlighting the work undertaken by various organizations to equip parents and young adults with the proper questions to ask their healthcare provider.