CDC: Expand Bacterial Meningitis Vaccine to Infants and Children
  • Petitioning CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

This petition will be delivered to:

CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

CDC: Expand Bacterial Meningitis Vaccine to Infants and Children

    1. Julian Siwek and John Becker
    2. Petition by

      Julian Siwek and John Becker

      Washington, DC

Next week, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet to decide whether to recommend the bacterial meningitis vaccine to infants and children -- the population most at risk for contracting meningitis. Given how dangerous this disease is, there’s no excuse not to protect as many people as possible from bacterial meningitis.

No one knows this better than me. I contracted bacterial meningitis as a child, and while I escaped with my life, I lost all of my fingers and most of my feet, and spent months in the hospital. I don’t want any other children to have to experience something similar.

The symptoms of bacterial meningitis typically appear suddenly and resemble the flu, but bacterial meningitis is far more deadly: in some cases, it can kill within hours, and those who survive, like me, often suffer serious complications including lost limbs, brain damage, hearing loss, and learning disabilities. It can be spread through casual contact, putting tight-knit communities and groups of people who live and interact in close quarters at greater risk.

Thankfully, a bacterial meningitis vaccine is available that is safe and effective. And there’s no reason not to make it available for children and infants.

We know that bacterial meningitis is dangerous, but we also know that it can be contained when the public health response is proactive and aggressive. Earlier this year, 16,000 people in NYC alone sought out a meningitis vaccine after a dangerous outbreak spread within the LGBT community. Since that aggressive vaccination campaign, no new cases of this deadly disease have been reported within the LGBT community.

It’s that type of strong will that we need right now from the Centers for Disease Control. That’s why I’m urging you to join with me and John Becker, who received the meningitis vaccine earlier this year amidst the public health scare, to call on the CDC to expand access to the vaccination by recommending it for children and infants.

Please sign this petition to urge the ACIP to add the bacterial meningitis vaccine to its list of recommended vaccines for infants and children.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 20,000 signatures
    2. We made the Blade!

      Julian Siwek and John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      A great feature in the Washington Blade. Thanks to Michael K. Lavers for writing it!

      Keep signing and sharing -- thank you all!

      CDC urged to expand meningitis vaccine recommendations

      A D.C. LGBT rights activist has launched a petition that calls upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend children as young as 6-months-old receive meningitis vaccinations. John Becker, who is the managing editor of the Bilerico Project, on Oct.

    3. Thanks, LGBTQ Nation!

      Julian Siwek and John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      LGBT news website LGBTQ Nation covers our petition. Rock on!

      Help pressure the feds to protect your family from meningitis

      Earlier this year, outbreaks of bacterial meningitis cropped up among gay and bisexual men in New York and Los Angeles. Fear gripped gay communities in cities across the country as many men wondered, according to the New York Times, "whether this is AIDS, circa 1981, all over again."

    4. Op-Ed in POZ Magazine

      Julian Siwek and John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      We've got an op-ed in POZ! Thanks for signing and sharing, everyone!

      Opinion : Help Protect the LGBT Community From Meningitis - by John Becker

      October 22, 2013 Help Protect the LGBT Community From Meningitis by John Becker An LGBT activist seeks updated recommendations to expand meningitis vaccination. John Becker Earlier this year, outbreaks of bacterial meningitis cropped up among gay and bisexual men in New York and Los Angeles.

    5. Reached 15,000 signatures
    6. Q-Notes covers our petition!

      Julian Siwek and John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      We're in Q-Notes, the largest LGBT paper in the southeastern United States!

      Keep the pressure up -- sign and share with abandon!

      Activist: Sign this petition to urge CDC to recommend bacterial meningitis vaccine | QNotes Gay Charlotte and LGBT Carolina News, Arts & Entertainment

      Earlier this year, outbreaks of bacterial meningitis cropped up among gay and bisexual men in New York and Los Angeles. Fear gripped gay communities in cities across the country as many men wondered, according to the New York Times, " whether this is AIDS, circa 1981, all over again."

    7. Reached 8,000 signatures
    8. BiNet USA: "Step up and save help to save someone's life."

      Julian Siwek and John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      An awesome post in support of our petition from BiNet USA President Faith Cheltenham. Check it out, and keep signing and sharing this petition!

      "As bisexuals, we depend on our community to survive (and thrive) past the frequent biphobia and homophobia we experience. Bacterial meningitis is a threat to our safety, our community and our kids... so step up and save help to save someone's life...might just be your own."

      BiNet USA's Blog

      John Becker, manager editor of Bilerico, has a Change.org petition up asking the CDC to make available the bacterial meningitis vaccine to infants and children. John has written up a powerful charge for our community to take action immediately.

    9. Reached 6,000 signatures
    10. More West Coast coverage

      Julian Siwek and John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      Big thanks to Social Outreach Seattle for covering this petition!

      CDC: Expand Bacterial Meningitis Vaccine to Children and Infants

      By Shaun Knittel SOSea Founder, President Earlier today, LGBT Activist and Managing Editor at popular gay news blog Bilerico Project, reached out to me with an appeal to get the word out about the Center For Disease Control's impending decision on whether or not to expand the Bacterial Meningitis Vaccine to infants and children.

    11. West Coast, baby!

      Julian Siwek and John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      Karen Ocamb of Frontiers LA, who tirelessly chronicled the meningitis outbreak there earlier this year, covered our petition. Awesomeness!

      Petition Asks CDC to Give Bacterial Meningitis Vaccinations to Kids

      Remember the huge scare last April when seemingly healthy West Hollywood gay attorney Brett Shaad died from bacterial meningitis, which we subsequently learned had killed another gay man and infected two others? We were told that, unlike New York City or Chicago, L.A. was not experiencing an outbreak.

    12. The coverage just keeps coming.

      Julian Siwek and John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      We're in POZ Magazine!!

      Newsfeed : CDC Urged to Recommend Meningitis Vaccine for Children

      October 18, 2013 CDC Urged to Recommend Meningitis Vaccine for Children A new petition urges the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to recommend the bacterial meningitis vaccine for infants and children.

    13. Health Guru Mark S. King covers our petition!

      Julian Siwek and John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks to health guru Mark S. King for writing about our petition!

      My Fabulous Disease

      Why aren't you open about your HIV+ status? We have learned through the last decades of the LGBT movement that the most effective way to change perceptions is to come out. It forces people to face their prejudices and it is almost always a positive experience, even in the face of potential discrimination.

    14. Reached 750 signatures
    15. We're on The New Civil Rights Movement!

      Julian Siwek and John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      The New Civil Rights Movement, a major LGBT blog, has picked up our story. Thanks so much for signing and sharing, everyone -- let's keep the momentum going!

      http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/why-you-should-care-about-bacterial-meningitis-enough-to-do-something/news/2013/10/17/77049#.UmFLWlDkvxg

    16. Bilerico Project coverage

      Julian Siwek and John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      Here's the initial piece about the petition, from the Bilerico Project.

      http://www.bilerico.com/2013/10/how_to_make_the_feds_protect_your_family_from_meni.php

    17. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • David Johnson MOSMAN, AUSTRALIA
      • 5 months ago

      Very very important

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Johnathan Dale BIDDEFORD, ME
      • 6 months ago

      Let's hope the anti-vax monsters get no say in this matter.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jordan Stokes NORWICH, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 6 months ago

      Im in UK but my oldest friend died from meningitis aged 13

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Carolyn Shebesta BROOKFIELD, WI
      • 6 months ago

      This is such a dangerous infection and spreads quickly.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Heather Williams COLUMBIA, MD
      • 6 months ago

      I don't want anyone to suffer with this disease!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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