The bacteria Neisseria meningitidis is responsible for meningococcal disease which is an infection of the brain, spinal cord, or bloodstream.
When the bacteria infect the lining of the brain or spinal cord, it is referred to as meningitis. When the bacteria infect the bloodstream, it is referred to as septicemia. Both types of infections are serious and can be fatal. Seeking medical treatment as soon as possible is of the utmost importance when dealing with this disease.
Symptoms for meningitis include:
- Stiff neck
- Photophobia (eyes being more sensitive to light)
- Altered mental status (confusion)
- Symptoms for septicemia include:
- Cold hands and feet
- Severe aches or pain in the muscles, joints, chest, or abdomen
- Rapid breathing
- Dark purple rash
Luckily, meningococcal disease is not as contagious as some other bacterial illnesses. It is transmitted through saliva or “respiratory secretions.” It is interesting to note that according to the CDC’s website, “About 1 in 10 people have these bacteria in the back of their nose and throat with no signs or symptoms of disease; this is called being ‘a carrier’.”(1)
There are 5 meningococcal types: A, C, W, Y, and B.
Serotype B accounts for 60% of all meningococcal incidence in children less than 5 years old. However, the meningococcal vaccine for that age group does NOT protect against serogroup B. (2) There IS a vaccine that covers serotype B but it is only approved for children 10 and up in the United States.
Additionally, the vaccine manufacturer’s insert admits that the vaccine, “may not protect all vaccine recipients…[and]… may not provide protection against all meningococcal serogroup B strains.”
This vaccine is most commonly given as a 2-dose series at 11 and 16 years of age.
The rate of meningococcal disease has reached an all-time low as of 2016 with only 370 cases reported that year.
Listed below are some of the adverse reactions from the vaccine:
- anaphylaxis/anaphylactic reaction, wheezing, difficulty breathing, upper airway swelling, urticaria, erythema, pruritus, hypotension
- Guillain-Barré syndrome (can lead to paralysis), paraesthesia, vasovagal syncope, dizziness, convulsion, facial palsy, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord), transverse myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord)
- fever, vomiting, diarrhea, joint pain, anorexia (stopped eating)
Clinical and Immunologic Risk Factors for Meningococcal C Conjugate Vaccine Failure in the United Kingdom
Effectiveness of meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine 4 years after introduction
“However, for children vaccinated in the routine infant immunisation programme, the effectiveness of the MCC vaccine fell to low levels after only 1 year.”
Failure of meningococcal vaccination to stop the transmission of meningococci in Nigerian schoolboys
Lack of Serum Bactericidal Activity in Preschool Children Two Years After a Single Dose of Serogroup C Meningococcal Polysaccharide-Protein Conjugate Vaccine
“The data from this study add to previous evidence indicating that immunity wanes rapidly after vaccination with serogroup C meningococcal glycoconjugate vaccines in infancy and early childhood.”
Long-term protection in children with meningococcal C conjugate vaccination: lessons learned
“However, when effectiveness was measured again more than 1 year after vaccination, there was a significant decline in all age groups, most marked in infants vaccinated in the routine infant immunization program, for whom there was no demonstrable efficacy after only 1 year and then in toddlers for whom efficacy declined to 61% (95% confidence interval: -327–94) from 88% (95% confidence interval: 65–96) in the first year.”
Meningococcal Disease & Vaccine
Meningococcal disease is not a diagnosis that any parent wishes to receive in regard to their child, myself included!
While being aware of this disease is important for early detection and treatment, we must remember just how rarely complications from the over colonization of this bacteria occur. In 2017, 349 cases of meningococcal disease were reported in the United States. Of those cases, there were 45 deaths with 14 of those deaths happening in ages 23 and under. (1) o put it bluntly, in 2017 your child’s risk of developing meningococcal disease was 0.00019%.
That is an extremely tiny number.
Conversely, there have been 3,688 serious adverse events, including death from the vaccine over a 30-year period.
On average, that means roughly 123 serious adverse reactions from the vaccine annually. And knowing that less than 1% of vaccine injury is ever reported, we can adjust that number to more accurately reflect the scope of injury from this vaccine.
The real-world number of vaccine reactions (since 1990) is around 368,800 with an average of 12,300 reactions annually.
Does the risk of an adverse event from the vaccine outweigh the risk of the disease itself?
In my humble opinion, NO.
VACCINE INJURY STORY
“This is my daughter Jordyn Kayla. She was born full term, perfect from head to toe. We took her to all of her wellness checks (doctor visits). She was vaccinated at each appointment because that’s what I was told what was best for my baby. She went in for one of her usual check-up appointments at 9-months old. That day they gave her the MMR vaccine with the meningococcal vaccine. A few days later I had a shift to do at my job. I went to work and did a 5-hour shift. I came home late that evening around 9:30 pm. My mom had been watching her for me. She told me she felt Jordyn wasn’t her usual self and had been sleeping the entire time I was at work. I went in to go check on her, she seemed asleep to me at first, but once I went to pick her up in her crib she felt over hundred degrees, and she was limp in my arms. I yelled for my mom, we both rushed into the car and drove her straight to the local ER (Sutter Roseville)
The minute we got there the place was packed, I waited in line just to get her name on the list. Gave them her symptoms and they told me to sit down… They called us into triage and checked her vitals, her temp was 104 and she was still limp and seemed unconscious. They assured me that she was fine, to go wait in the waiting area till they had a room for us. I trusted them. I sat in that waiting room from 10 pm till 1am. That entire time I cried, I prayed and prayed. I needed all the strength in the world at that moment because waiting felt like an eternity. I knew my daughter needed medical attention. Once we got into the room, my prayers were answered, she came to and looked right at me. But something was wrong, her left eye was cloudy and didn’t seem right at all. I asked the nurse what was wrong, and she panicked and just left the room. I could not believe all this was happening. She comes back with a Doctor and he had no idea either! Not one dang clue! They ran tests, and they called an on call eye specialist, he comes in very sure of himself and looks at Jordyn and instantly has this very assuring attitude she’s totally fine! She has a corneal abrasion. He prescribed some eye drops and sends us home. This all happened on a Friday night. We go home with no sleep, and go see the eye specialist the next day and he says, I don’t see any improvement, just double her dose and come back tomorrow. Sunday, we come back to his office and Jordy hasn’t had any progression at all. He doesn’t like what he sees and calls Sutter to check her blood tests. He gets off the phone and says, she has a bacteria in her blood, rush her to UC Davis now! They are setting her room up for surgery already.
At this point, I’m thinking, this is a bad dream. I’m going to wake up. As we get to UC Davis, I remember my husband (who was in the Navy at the time supposed to be leaving for a deployment) carrying her little body to the hospital and set her up in this crib.
The doctors come in and tell me she has the bacteria in her blood stream and they need to get her into surgery ASAP, they told me she has neisseria meningitidis. We gave her kisses and sent her off to surgery. My perfect 9-month-old baby. She went off to an emergency surgery. They located the bacteria in the back of her left eye. They believed it was making its way up into her brain. They had no idea at this point if she might be mentally disabled as well.
They then begin to tell us it was the vaccine caused this. From that day on, my daughter became what I can best describe as a science project. No medical professional knew how to deal with her scenario. After that one surgery, it was just the beginning of so many more attempts on trying to save Jordyn’s left eye. I lost count on how many they end up doing. I remember them trying to put a prosthetic eye on top of her actual eyeball and it would cause serve rubbing and give her actual eyeball corneal abrasions, then it would turn into staph infections in the eye. We did that back and forth till she was 4 years old. 9 months old till 4 years old of constant medical attention.
We finally decided to just stop, stop all this torture on our daughter. We accepted the fact she was blind and that her eye was never going to get better. We made the choice to remove her eye completely. Once again, she goes back for surgery. Every time I had to sign that paper where it states possible death during surgery. What parent deserves that? I made sure to be the best mom that I could be. I vaccinated my daughter like I was supposed to. But I had to be that percentage that got dealt the worse hand? Vaccinating is more like Russian roulette.
I post our story to let you all know something isn’t right here. You shouldn’t feel damned if you do or damned if you don’t. You should feel safe making these choices for your children.
I hope my daughter’s story is heard, and I hope there is compassion and understanding. I hope to open the eyes of my peers. I hope this touches hearts, I hope this saves a life, I hope for so much.
All I can do is share our story. God Bless you all, Please feel free to share. Save a Life.”