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Nebraska School Nurse Association

Contact your senators!!! LB 18 Meningococcal School mandate bill

Posted over 3 years ago by Tonja Frank

LB18, the Meningococcal school mandate bill for teenagers, did get passed out of the Education Committee to the Floor of the Unicameral yesterday. We expect it to be debated within the next week.

We would really like to get constituents from the various districts to contact their senators to express their support.

Best to email or call at this point:
  • Find your senator's email address and phone # Here
  • You can view the bill here and plugging in the LB bill # 18 into the search box
Key Points:
  • Meningococcal disease develops rapidly, typically among previously healthy children and adolescents, and results in high morbidity and mortality. (CDC)

  • Nasopharyngeal carriage rates are highest in adolescents and young adults..., who serve as reservoirs for transmission of N. meningitidis. (CDC)

  • Data from Canada and England show that with high immunization rates, there are benefits of "Herd Immunity for vulnerable individuals outside the vaccination age range, due to deceased nasal carriage in this reservoir population.

  • the overall case-fatality ratio remains at 10%–15%, and 11%–19% of survivors have long-term sequelae (e.g., neurologic disability, limb or digit amputation, kidney failure and deafness).. (CDC)

  • Major consequences for at least 1/3 of victims of this disease

  • Status of Meningococcal Teen Vaccination rates in Nebraska and nationally: (National Immunization Survey - 2013)

  • In Nebraska, approximately 1 in 4 adolescents did not have even 1 dose of meningococcal vaccine. This is similar to the national immunization rates for this vaccine.

  • There is no data currently available on the % of Nebraska/U.S. teens having recently recommended 2 doses.

  • There is disparity based on poverty level: 79% of Nebraska teens living at or above the Federal Poverty Level have at least one dose vs 72% of those living below the FPL.

  • There is disparity for urban/suburban (80-81%) versus rural (71%) adolescents in Nebraska

  • In Nebraska, white teens (79%) are more likely to receive at least 1 meningococcal vaccination versus Hispanic teens (64%); there is no comparison data available for Nebraska black, Asian, or native American adolescents versus white teens.

I encourage you to spread the word to your SN, public health, and health professional colleagues, and concerned citizens to contact their senator ASAP!

One story worth telling relates to these 2011 media reports on a DeWitt Nebraska child who ultimately died from this meningitis, AFTER losing both legs & both arms!

DeWitt, NE 1/25/11 - 4 yo – Meningitis reported, meningococcal cause confirmed, all 4 limbs amputated, died on 1/29/11; second child ill but recovered: Here & Here; obituary for the child who lost his life to this disease here this child wouldn't be vaccinated under the bill, but he may have benefited from secondary Herd Immunity.

The Nebraska School Nurses Association has a position statement support this bill. See Legislative issues on the website.

Above information was provided by:

Linda K. Ohri, Pharm.D., MPH
Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice
HLSB Rm 154
Creighton University School of Pharmacy & Health Professions