Though almost unknown in the United States, Cuba developed its own type B meningococcal vaccine for use in 1991. VA-MENGOC-BC reduced the island’s meningitis infection rate from 6.5 per 100,000 people in 1989 to 0.2 per 100,000 by 2006. About 55 million doses have since then been administered safely and effectively, mostly in Latin America, according to data from MEDICC Review.
Princeton students could have had well-tested VA-MENGOC-BC immediately but for the U.S. embargo on trading with Cuba. Instead, Princeton students will be administered BEXSERO vaccine made in Switzerland, a new type B drug recently cleared for use only in the European Union and Australia.
As demonstrated by the Associated Press’s slanted story (Nov. 19), side effects of the 50-year-old embargo include an intentional mainstream media blackout of vital information accessible by a quick Internet search shared at www.medcc.org.