Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 2021, as Meningitis Awareness Month in the State of New York

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Senate Resolution No. 751

BY: Senator RIVERA

MEMORIALIZING Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim
June 2021, as Meningitis Awareness Month in the
State of New York

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body to recognize
official months that are set aside to increase awareness of serious
illnesses that affect the lives of citizens of New York State; and

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to memorialize
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 2021, as Meningitis Awareness
Month in the State of New York, in conjunction with the observance of
National Meningitis Month; and

WHEREAS, Meningococcal disease, more commonly referred to as
bacterial meningitis, is any infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria
meningitidis; and

WHEREAS, Meningococcal disease is uncommon; however, when it
strikes, its flu-like symptoms make diagnosis difficult; and

WHEREAS, Meningococcal disease can cause serious illness such as
infection of the lining of the brain and spinal column (meningitis) or
blood infections (sepsis); the disease strikes quickly and can lead to
severe or permanent disabilities, such as hearing loss, brain damage,
seizures, limb amputation or even lead to death within 24-48 hours; and

WHEREAS, Although 1 in 10 people are carriers for this bacteria with
no signs or symptoms of disease, sometimes Neisseria meningitidis
bacteria can cause illness; and

WHEREAS, There are different strains of bacterial meningitis,
including serogroups A, C, W, Y, and B, and vaccines exist to help
provide protection against all the serogroups commonly seen in the
United States; and

WHEREAS, The single best way to help prevent all common strains of
meningococcal disease is to be vaccinated with both a MenACWY vaccine
and a separate MenB vaccine; and

WHEREAS, Meningococcal disease is spread from person to person via
the exchange of the bacteria through respiratory and throat secretions
during close or lengthy contact, such as sharing beverages or eating
utensils, kissing, or spending time in close contact with someone who is
sick or who carries the bacteria; and

WHEREAS, Community settings in which large groups of people gather,
like college campuses, can increase the risk of the spread of
meningococcal disease; and

WHEREAS, Because of the way meningitis is spread, through close
personal contact, and that the social behavior of young adults ages
17-23 increases their risk of contracting the disease; students in

dormitory settings and crowded events, are particularly vulnerable to
meningococcal disease; and

WHEREAS, While vaccines for serogroups A, C, W, and Y have been
available for many years, prior to 2014, there were no vaccines
available for serogroup B; and

WHEREAS, Despite the existence of a serogroup B vaccine, meningitis
B has been responsible for all U.S. college campus outbreaks since 2011,
with some cases resulting in death; and

WHEREAS, Because the B strain of meningitis requires a new, separate
vaccination, students heading to college may mistakenly think that if
they received the MenACWY vaccine that they are protected against all
strains and may not realize they are not protected against the B strain;

WHEREAS, According to the Centers for Disease Control, Neisseria
meningitidis serogroup B accounts for approximately half of all
meningococcal cases among persons aged 17-23 years in the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, Vaccination for serogroups A, C, W and Y is routinely
recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and

WHEREAS, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory
Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that decisions to
vaccinate adolescents and young adults 16 through 23 years of age
against serogroup B meningococcal disease should be made at the
individual level with health care providers; and

WHEREAS, In accordance with ACIP recommendations, Chapter 401 of the
Laws of 2015, required that as of September 1, 2016, children entering
grades 7, 8 and 12 be immunized against meningococcal disease strains A,
C, W, and Y; and

WHEREAS, New York State Public Health Law (NYS PHL) ยง 2167 requires
institutions, including colleges and universities, to distribute
information about meningococcal disease and vaccination to all students
meeting the enrollment criteria, whether they live on or off campus; and

WHEREAS, While New York State Law does not require vaccination
against serogroup B meningococcal disease, young adults aged 16-23 may
choose to receive the MenB vaccine series, and are encouraged to discuss
the MenB vaccine with a healthcare provider; and

WHEREAS, Meningitis vaccines are covered by public and private
insurance plans, and individuals are encouraged to contact their health
insurance plan to determine coverage of MenACWY and MenB vaccines; and

WHEREAS, The federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) and NYS Vaccines
for Adults (VFA) programs will cover both MenACWY and MenB vaccines for
children and adults who have no health insurance or whose health
insurance does not cover these vaccines, as well as for children less
than 19 years of age who are American Indian or Alaska Native or
eligible for Medicaid or Child Health Plus; and

WHEREAS, Students, parents, educators and health care providers need
to know about all strains of meningitis and how to protect against all
strains; and

WHEREAS, A Meningococcal Disease Fact Sheet is available on the New
York State Department of Health website; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 2021, as
Meningitis Awareness Month in the State of New York, in conjunction with
the observance of National Meningitis Month; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of
New York.


  • 05 / May / 2021
  • 11 / May / 2021
  • 11 / May / 2021

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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