Meningitis-B survivor Andy Marso calls for vaccination of all US college students

6:35 PM, Nov 20, 2013   |    comments
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA9) -- A survivor of the rare and deadly bacterial form of meningitis is calling for vaccinations of all US college students after a new vaccine was introduced this week in response to an outbreak at Princeton University.

The European vaccine Bexsero has not been approved for use in the US, but federal officials have granted a waiver only for the Princeton outbreak.

"If it's safe enough for Princeton, then why are we not making it available to college students across the country?, asked Andy Marso a journalist and author who survived meningitis-B when he was stricken in 2004 while a student at the University of Kansas.

Marso nearly died and lost parts of all four limbs after his bout with the rare infection.

"You could go and get that shot today and it could potentially prevent what happened to me from happening to you," Marso said.

Marso, a Kansas-based journalist, has written a new memoir about his experience called 'Worth the Pain'.

Until now, there has been no vaccine that specifically targets meningitis-B, a rarer and more deadly form of the disease in the U.S. Typically it kills between 800 and 1500 people per year.

College students are particularly vulnerable because they live and eat in close quarters.

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