NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--One moment Patti Wukovits was preparing for her daughter’s high school graduation, and the next moment she was watching her fight for her life for 9 days in the intensive care unit. In 2012, Patti lost her 17-year-old daughter, Kimberly Coffey, to group B meningococcal disease, also known as MenB, just days before Kim’s senior prom and high school graduation. Following this tragedy, Patti established The Kimberly Coffey Foundation to help educate parents and healthcare professionals specifically about MenB and to help prevent another family from enduring a loss due to this vaccine-preventable disease. To further education efforts, The Kimberly Coffey Foundation has teamed up with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) on a national survey to better understand parents’ knowledge of meningococcal disease and available vaccines.
“As a mother and nurse, I thought I had done everything I could to protect Kim against meningococcal disease by getting her vaccinated. I believed she was fully protected against the disease when, in fact, she wasn’t protected against MenB,” said Patti Wukovits, RN, Founder and Executive Director, The Kimberly Coffey Foundation. “The Kimberly Coffey Foundation is working with Pfizer on a national survey to help educate other parents about this uncommon, but potentially fatal vaccine-preventable disease. Parents need to know their child isn’t fully immunized against meningococcal disease without the addition of the MenB vaccine.”
The National Meningococcal Disease Awareness Survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of The Kimberly Coffey Foundation and Pfizer, polled 2,011 U.S. parents ages 30+ of teens or young adults 16 to 23 years of age in March 2016. After learning about the differences between the two types of meningococcal vaccines:
- 81 percent of parents said prior to their participation in the survey they did not know or were not sure that there were two different meningococcal vaccines; one vaccine that protects against groups A, C, W, Y and a different one that protects against group B.1
- Furthermore, 83 percent of parents say they did not understand the difference between group B and other groups of meningococcal disease before taking the survey.2
- About 4 in 5 parents (79 percent) say they did not know their child was not fully immunized against the five common groups of meningococcal disease unless they had both types of meningococcal vaccines.3
Like most parents who participated in this survey, Patti had the common misconception that the meningococcal vaccine Kim received fully protected her daughter against the disease when, in fact, it didn’t protect her against MenB. At the time Kim contracted MenB in 2012, there were no vaccines available in the United States to help protect against group B. As of 2014, there are now vaccines available to help protect against MenB, which accounts for nearly 50 percent of all U.S. meningococcal disease cases in 17-23 year olds.4
After learning about the different meningococcal vaccines, additional survey results showed:
- Nearly 9 out of 10 (89 percent) parents said meningococcal group B is something all parents should [help] protect their children against, 5 but only 30 percent of parents reported that their teen or young adult received the vaccine that [helps] protect against group B.6
- Seventy percent of parents whose child had not received the group B vaccine said they were likely to do so in the future.7
Through this partnership, Patti hopes to be Kim’s voice to help prevent another family from experiencing what she did, and another child from losing their life or suffering unnecessarily from MenB like Kim did. As many teens and young adults are finishing the school year and visiting their healthcare provider for an annual checkup, parents should talk to their child’s healthcare provider about MenB vaccines. For more information about MenB or the survey, visit StopMenB.com.
The National Meningococcal Disease Awareness Survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Pfizer in partnership with The Kimberly Coffey Foundation, between March 8-29, 2016, among a total of 2,011 U.S. parents ages 30+ with a teen or young adult between the ages of 16 and 23.
About Group B Meningococcal Disease
The majority of invasive meningococcal disease cases worldwide can be attributed to five Neisseria meningitidis serogroups (A, B, C, W and Y).8 MenB affects all age groups in the U.S., but incidence is highest among infants younger than one year, adolescents and young adults.9 MenB accounts for nearly 50 percent of all U.S. meningococcal cases in 17-23 year olds.4
Although uncommon, MenB may result in life-altering, significant long-term and permanent medical disabilities.10,11,12 Even with antibiotic treatment, 12.5 percent of patients with MenB die and many of those who survive are afflicted with long-term disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities or limb amputations.13,14
About The Kimberly Coffey Foundation
Patti Wukovits lost her 17-year-old daughter, Kimberly Coffey, to group B meningococcal disease in 2012. After this tragedy, Patti found that there was little knowledge of this disease among the general public and the medical community, and as a result, she established The Kimberly Coffey Foundation. The organization’s goal is to provide educational resources and advocate for meningococcal vaccination so that another family doesn’t endure the loss of a child or loved one because of this vaccine-preventable disease.
Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier world®
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. For more information, please visit us at www.pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer_News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.
1 Pfizer and The Kimberly Coffey Foundation Meningococcal Disease Consumer Survey Findings. Final Data Tables: Q926. Field Period: March 8-29, 2016. Page 73.
2 Pfizer and The Kimberly Coffey Foundation Meningococcal Disease Consumer Survey Findings. Final Data Tables: Q935. Field Period: March 8-29, 2016. Page 76.
3 Pfizer and The Kimberly Coffey Foundation Meningococcal Disease Consumer Survey Findings. Final Data Tables: Q935. Field Period: March 8-29, 2016. Page 76.
4 Soeters HM, McNamara LA, Whaley M, Wang X, Alexander-Scott N, Kanadanian, KV, et al. Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease Outbreak and Carriage Evaluation at a College – Rhode Island, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(22):606-607.
5 Pfizer and The Kimberly Coffey Foundation Meningococcal Disease Consumer Survey Findings. Final Data Tables: Q935. Field Period: March 8-29, 2016. Page 76.
6 Pfizer and The Kimberly Coffey Foundation Meningococcal Disease Consumer Survey Findings. Final Data Tables: Q910. Field Period: March 8-29, 2016. Page 64.
7 Pfizer and The Kimberly Coffey Foundation Meningococcal Disease Consumer Survey Findings. Final Data Tables: Q930. Field Period: March 8-29, 2016. Page 74.
8 Pinto VB, Burden R, Wagner A, Moran EE, Lee C. The Development of an Experimental Multiple Serogroups Vaccine for Neisseria meningitidis. PLoS ONE. 2013; 8(11): 1-10.
9 Cohn A, MacNeil JR, Harrison LH, et al. Changes in Neisseria meningitidis disease epidemiology in the United States, 1998-2007: implications for prevention of meningococcal disease. Clin Infect Dis. 2010; 50: 184-191.
10 Borg J, Christie D, Coen PG, Pooy R, Viner RM. Outcomes of Meningococcal Disease in Adolescence: prospective, matched-cohort study. Pediatrics. 2009; 123: e502-e509.
11 Sabatini C, Bosis S, Semino M, Senatore L, Principi N, Esposito S. Clinical Presentation of Meningococcal Disease in Childhood. J Prev Med Hyg. 2012; 53: 116-119.
12 Brigham KS, Sandora TJ. Neisseria meningitidis: epidemiology, treatment and prevention in adolescents. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2009; 21: 437-443.
13 MacNeil J. Epidemiology of Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease, United States. Presented at the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. October 30, 2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2014-10/mening-02-MacNeil.pdf. Accessed April 18, 2016.
14 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Vaccines for Preteens, Teens. http://www.cdc.gov/features/meningococcal/. Last updated April 18, 2016. Accessed April 18, 2016.