28 June 2017
June 12 - June 16 was officially declared "Meningitis B Awareness Week" in New York State and was dedicated to Kimberly Coffey from Long Island, New York and also in recognition of the work of The Kimberly Coffey Foundation. CoMO member The Kimberly Coffey Foundation (USA) advocated for the resolution and it was adopted in both the Senate and the Assembly. Patti Wukovits, Executive Director, was at the State Capitol in Albany, New York conducting news interviews and was in the Assembly Chamber for the reading of the resolution.
The Kimberly Coffey Foundation kicked off Meningitis B Awareness Week with a press conference to educate the public about the dangers of meningitis B and the importance of adding a separate and additional meningitis B vaccine to have the best protection against all 5 common groups of meningococcal disease in the USA. Patti Wukovits, mother of Kimberly Coffey and founder of the Kimberly Coffey Foundation explains that vaccines weren't available in the US at the time of Kimberly's case of meningitis and so pleas all to seek out the vaccines that are now available from their health care providers,
“No vaccine is fool-proof, nothing in life is 100%, but the best protection that we have right now, is to vaccinate.”
Their aim was to make sure that all 16-23 year-old-students start school in September (high school or college) having already received the vaccine against meningitis B. They reminded those in New York State that the New York State meningitis vaccine requirement does not include protection against meningitis B and that MenB is a separate and additional vaccine. It is meningitis B which has been responsible for the recent college outbreaks and which responsible for Kimberly Coffey's death 5 years ago, yet many students are not aware that there is a vaccine to prevent against it.
“Most students are vaccinated against serogroups ACWY, which the standard vaccine prevents against, but most students are not vaccinated against type B simply because they are not aware that the vaccine exists.”
Kimberly's mum encourages parents to have a discussion with their child's health care provider about meningitis B vaccination and to get their child protected with both meningococcal vaccines - one for MenACWY and one for MenB. Patti emphasises the importance of going "one step further" when checking their childs protection, urging parents to ask the health care provider,
"Is my child is also protected against type B? I know it’s a separate vaccine.”
The Kimberly Coffey Foundation is playing an important role in the fight against Meningitis amongst students in the US and CoMO commend their efforts and successes.
- NBC news, June 7, 2017
Read more about the Kimberly Coffey Foundation>>
Find Kimberly's Story on our Meningitis Stories Page