Canadians Will Be First to Test New Meningitis Vaccine for US Parents

One of the big problems surrounding the recent decision by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to add a type of vaccine for meningitis to the nation’s long list of vaccine recommendations is that the U.S. is underperforming when it comes to getting vaccinations for all of its citizens.

Canada certainly wouldn’t have claimed the initial jumpstart for its own effort to prepare for a broader and more effective meningitis vaccination effort.

Back in 2001, Canada made it a priority to increase vaccinations for children at all ages. The goal was to supply 92 percent of our children with their required MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) doses by the year 2007. Nearly a decade later, the Canadian results are far from a ringing endorsement. While many international health organizations support developing countries the same progress – and recommended a similar review, according to David Rogers, executive director of Meningitis Canada – Rogers told me in a recent interview that the organization is not directly affiliated with the United States. Instead, Meningitis Canada advises and partners with other countries and organizations.

In a recent survey of 300 people worldwide, 88 percent of those surveyed believed that the United States would use more like 95 percent, and 98 percent said they felt the same about Canada.

While we might like to think that the recent set of pediatric recommendations represented a step forward for U.S. vaccination efforts, Canadians’ success in reaching 95 percent vaccination coverage with kids ages 2 to 17 decades old may indicate a more realistic target, according to David.

“Having a high level of vaccination does make our countries more healthy and it helps protect our children,” said David. “However, it does also mean we would have a slight increase in the number of cases of the disease, and those cases would only be from the severely affected population.”

For the country’s more healthy population, vaccination coverage of just 91 percent appears to be an acceptable benchmark.

According to Robert Fenton, MD, director of the Meningitis Canada Vaccine Advisory Committee, further, “It is remarkable that during the last few years, most of the cases have been in the 2 to 12-year-old range. The recommendation for these younger children is to strengthen their immunity by giving an oral vaccine. There are alternative vaccines, oral vaccines that they can administer at home, without any negative effects. They can do a better job at this. So, adding the new vaccine takes care of that, while they provide the strongest protection to the 2 to 12-year-old group.”

Canada’s vaccine plan, which was not touched upon in the CDC’s recently released pediatric vaccination recommendation, is still very much on the drawing board. The Public Health Agency of Canada will develop a national disease control strategy, which will include a broad-scale vaccination program for all Canadians.

“Canada is looking for funding to achieve these goals,” said Rogers. “I wish the U.S. would look at the Canadian experience and see the opportunity that exists here. This is a science-based strategy, and that is why the plan reflects the International Vaccine Alliance (IVA) recommendations, a scientific consensus among groups with expertise in vaccine development, diagnostics, and the regulation of vaccines.”

“We hope for support from the U.S. government,” added Rogers. “They are the largest economy in the world, but they are the only country whose lack of such a well-developed immunization system leads to a million unprotected children in one year alone.”

Sara Just is the co-founder of myLiberty project. MyLiberty: The Trust for America’s Health produces informative content on health, technology, and the economy. It also publishes a daily newsletter, which provides brief insights, case studies, and commentary on current health and technology news.

Sara Just is the co-founder of myLiberty project. MyLiberty: The Trust for America’s Health produces informative content on health, technology, and the economy. It also publishes a daily newsletter, which provides brief insights, case studies, and commentary on current health and technology news. Sara Just is the co-founder of myLiberty project. MyLiberty: The Trust for America’s Health produces informative content on health, technology, and the economy. It also publishes a daily newsletter, which provides brief insights, case studies, and commentary on current health and technology news. Sara Just is the co-founder of myLiberty project. MyLiberty: The Trust for America’s

Leave a Comment