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GSK announces “Ask2BSure” public health awareness campaign for meningitis B vaccination

For media and investors only

  • Actor, director, writer and mother of four Soleil Moon Frye partners with GSK on campaign
  • National campaign aims to encourage parents to start the conversation with their child’s doctor to “Ask2BSure” if they have received meningitis B vaccination
  • According to CDC, nearly 80% of 17-year-olds did not receive even one dose of a meningitis B vaccination1

Issued: Philadelphia, PA

Today GSK launches its public health campaign, “Ask2BSure,” to encourage parents to talk with their child’s doctor to be sure if they have received meningitis B vaccination. The campaign is launching at a critical time for vaccination, when a large portion of teens and young adults may be unvaccinated against meningitis B. According to CDC data, coverage with at least 1 dose of meningitis B vaccination was low, at 21.8% among adolescents aged 17 years in 2019.[1]  Meningococcal disease, commonly referred to as meningitis, is an uncommon, but potentially life-threatening illness.[2] 

To help kick-off the campaign, actor, producer, director and mother of four Soleil Moon Frye, whose credits include Punky Brewster and kid90, has partnered with GSK to share her perspective as her oldest daughter, Poet, turns 16 and they navigate the meningitis B vaccination discussion with their pediatrician.

“I have four children, and they are my whole world. Like all moms, I want to help keep my kids healthy, and vaccinations are one of the ways I’ve tried to do that. I always ask a lot of questions and do my research, so I was surprised when I only recently learned about meningitis B,” said Frye. “My daughter Poet turned 16 this week, an important milestone but also one relevant to meningitis B vaccination. While many of our kids have received a meningitis vaccine when they were younger, they could miss vaccination for meningitis B. It’s important to me to help other parents start this conversation with their child’s doctors—because as parents we want to do everything we can to help protect our children, including from vaccine-preventable diseases.”

CDC currently recommends meningitis B vaccination for teens and young adults aged 16-23 years (preferred ages 16-18), based on ‘shared clinical decision-making’, a decision process between the health care provider and the patient or parent/guardian.[3] “Ask2BSure” was created to educate and empower parents to start the meningitis B vaccination discussion with their child’s doctor.

“Like Soleil, parents may not know there are two different types of vaccinations recommended for young adults to help protect against the five vaccine-preventable groups of meningitis, one for groups A, C, W and Y, and another for group B.[4]” said Dr. Leonard Friedland, VP, Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health, GSK Vaccines. “As parents catch up on wellness visits and vaccination for their children, it is important to ask their child’s doctor if they might be missing meningitis B vaccination.”

To commemorate the “Ask2BSure” campaign launch, GSK has pledged to donate $1 for every unique view of the campaign video (up to $10,000) to the Meningitis B Action Project, a joint initiative of the Kimberly Coffey Foundation and the Emily Stillman Foundation. The Project was started by two mothers who each lost their daughters to meningitis B and are now on a mission to educate parents, young adults and healthcare providers about meningitis B and vaccinations to help prevent it. Views for the donation will be counted for up to 3 months following the launch.

Parents should start the conversation with their child’s doctor to Ask2BSure if they have received meningitis B vaccination. Visit Ask2Bsure.com for more information.

About Meningitis

Meningitis is an uncommon, but serious illness that can cause life-threatening complications, or even death.[2] Adolescents and young adults are at an increased risk for contracting meningitis because it can spread through behaviors such as living in close quarters, coughing, sneezing, kissing, and sharing drinks or utensils.[2, 5] Early symptoms of meningitis may be similar to those of the flu, but can progress quickly and can be fatal, sometimes within 24 hours.[6],[7] Although vaccination may not protect all recipients, according to CDC, vaccination is the best defense against meningococcal disease.[8]

About Ask2BSure

“Ask2BSure” is a public health campaign by GSK created to help educate and empower parents to ask their child’s doctor about meningitis B vaccination. Ask2BSure seeks to raise awareness of the importance of a dialogue between parents/caregivers and healthcare providers about meningitis B vaccination. Resources, including personal stories, infographics and conversation starters, can be found at Ask2Bsure.com. For additional education around meningitis B and vaccination, parents and caregivers of teens and young adults should visit meningitisB.com.

About GSK

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com/about-us.

GSK enquiries:

 

 

 

 

Media enquiries:

Sean Clements

+1 215 740 3088

(Philadelphia)

 

 

Evan Berland

+1 215 432 0234

(Philadelphia)

 

Analyst/Investor enquiries:

Sonya Ghobrial

+44 (0) 7391 784784

(Consumer)

 

 

James Dodwell

+44 (0) 20 8047 2406

(London)

 

 

Mick Readey

+44 (0) 7990 339655

(London)

 

 

Jeff McLaughlin

+1 215 751 7002

(Philadelphia)

 

 

Frannie DeFranco

+1 215 751 4855

(Philadelphia)

 

 

[1] National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2019. 2020; 69(33). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6933-H.pdf. Reviewed August 21, 2020. Accessed August 2021.

[2] Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Chapter 8: Meningococcal Disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt08-mening.html. Reviewed December 2019. Accessed August 2021.

[3] ACIP Shared Clinical Decision-Making Recommendations https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/acip-scdm-faqs.html

[4] Kempe, Alison et al. 2018. Adoption of Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine Recommendations. Pediatrics. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-0344. Accessed August 2021.

[5] Meningitis. Overview. Mayo Clinic website. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/meningitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350508. Updated October 1, 2020. Accessed August 2021.

[6] Pelton SI. Meningococcal disease awareness: clinical and epidemiological factors affecting prevention and management in adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2010;46:S9-S15

[7] Meningococcal Disease: Signs and Symptoms. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/symptoms.html. Updated June 2017. Accessed August 2021.

[8] Meningococcal disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/prevention.html. Updated March 28, 2017. Accessed August 2021.