New MenB awareness drive backs up vaccine makers GSK, Pfizer

While meningitis B vaccination rates remain low, two groups are pushing information into physician waiting rooms to raise awareness. (Getty Image)

Meningitis B vaccine makers GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer have been running awareness campaigns for years, yet vaccination rates remain stagnant. Less than 10% of teens between the ages of 16 and 18 have received one dose of the meningitis B vaccine.

That’s why, on World Meningitis day, another campaign joined the awareness marketing effort. PatientPoint point-of-care network has partnered with the Meningitis B Action Project to put educational materials and public service announcements in 3,000 primary care waiting rooms across the country.

The importance of getting information in front of parents and teens in the waiting room is key to the partnership, Alicia Stillman and Patti Wukovits, co-founders of the project and mothers who lost their daughters to MenB, said.

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They started the group in 2017 aiming to target the gap in knowledge that exists because parents often think their children are vaccinated against meningitis B with only the MenACWY vaccine. The project already distributes materials to schools, colleges and universities nationwide.

“Our partnership with PatientPoint contributes to these efforts by allowing us to reach parents, children and even HCPs at the point of care—exactly where these critical MenB discussions are not happening, according to current studies,” they said via email. “We hope this will help drive home the importance of our message in a way that general awareness-building efforts may not have.”

GSK and Pfizer, which make meningitis B vaccines Bexsero and Trumemba, respectively, have their own ongoing awareness campaigns around the disease. While the project is independently funded and managed, both pharmas are among its group of donors, with education funding going to the non-profit group.

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PatientPoint works with more than 20 other nonprofit organizations and associations on similar awareness building efforts. Its work with the MenB Project will run through March of next year, and while it is currently only in the waiting room, PatientPoint is looking to extend the campaign into physicians’ back offices as well.

“Our collaboration with the Meningitis B Action Project perfectly aligns with our mantra of making every doctor-patient engagement better," PatientPoint’s Kate Merz, executive vice president for content and creative, said in an email.