Novartis has announced that its meningococcal serogroup B (MenB) vaccine, Bexsero (Meningococcal Group B Vaccine [rDNA, component, adsorbed]), will be used at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) as part of a vaccination program. UCSB experienced an outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease in November 2013, with four confirmed cases.

Bexsero was approved for use in the U.S. under a treatment Investigational New Drug (IND) designation. It is currently the only licensed broad coverage vaccine approved in Europe, Australia, and Canada to protect against serogroup B meningococcal disease. Data from nearly 8,000 infant, children, adolescent, and adult patients in Bexsero’s comprehensive clinical program has been submitted by Novartis to the FDA. Although MenB is not common, it can progress quickly and lead to permanent disability or death within 24 hours of initial symptoms.

RELATED: Infectious Disease Resource Center

Nearly 20,000 students at UCSB will be offered the vaccine, including undergraduates, University Immersion Program students, and any faculty, staff, and graduate students who have specific medical conditions or live in University-owned dormitory-style residence halls. The vaccination program will begin on February 24 and end on March 7.

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