The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

March 19, 2014

Your View: Support vaccinations

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Ten years ago, I woke up in my dorm room at the University of Kansas not feeling well.

Within hours, I was fighting for my life against bacterial meningitis. Today, I am urging Missourians, especially parents, to encourage their legislators to vote for HB 1590 and require meningitis vaccinations for all students living on campuses at Missouri colleges and universities. The decision may be made in as little as two weeks, after the Legislature returns from spring break.  

We don’t know why college campuses are such hotbeds for this disease, but when there is an outbreak, it spreads quickly. While the disease took all my fingers, one thumb and the front half of my feet, I am one of the lucky ones. I lived. Most don’t. The current meningitis vaccines would not have helped me, because I had serogroup B meningitis, although a vaccine for meningitis B is on the horizon for the U.S. But they will prevent the other four main serogroups that occur in the United States and will prevent young people and their families from going through what I went through — or worse.

Andy Marso

Lawrence, Kan.

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