Jamie Schanbaum & Dr. Leonard Friedland: December 14, 2016

Young Adults Are At Increased Risk For Meningitis B 

Holidays Are the Perfect Time to Make Sure Your College-Aged Children Have Talked to Their Doctor about Their Vaccinations




Jamie Schanbaum

GSK spokesperson

Meningitis Survivor U.S. Paralympian


Dr. Leonard Friedland

Pediatrician and Vice President
Director Scientific Affairs and Public Health
Vaccines North America at GSK


With many college-aged children returning home for the holidays, now is an ideal time to set up medical appointments to talk to their doctor about their vaccinations. This includes vaccines for meningococcal disease, commonly called meningitis. Meningococcal meningitis is a type of bacterial meningitis, which is a rare but potentially life-threatening disease that leads to inflammation of the protective membranes (“meninges”) that surround the brain and spinal cord. Bacterial meningitis can progress quickly and can be fatal, sometimes within 24 hours.

About one in 10 people infected with meningococcal disease will die, while one in five survivors will suffer long-term consequences, including deafness, nervous system problems, brain damage or loss of limbs. In the U.S., young adults are at greater risk for contracting the disease.2 Risk factors also include being in community settings that promote close contact with people.

Did You Know:

·         In the U.S., while most (70%) young people have received the vaccine that helps protect against four groups of meningitis (serogroups A,C, W and Y), to date, more than 90% of 16-23 year olds have not received the meningitis B vaccine.

·         Serogroup B meningitis causes approximately 30% of U.S. cases of meningococcal disease.

For more information, please visit: www.meningitis.com

More About Jamie Schanbaum:  

On November 13, 2008, Jamie Schanbaum, then 20 years old and enjoying the life of a typical college student, was feeling ill. Her symptoms were similar to those of the common flu but within 14 hours she was admitted to a hospital in Austin, TX. Two days later, doctors explained that her lack of feeling in her extremities and discolored limbs was because she had contracted meningococcal disease. Jamie survived, though sadly she lost her legs and fingers. They had to be amputated as a direct result of her infection.

Since leaving the hospital, Jamie has shown tremendous strength and perseverance as she endeavors to promote awareness of meningococcal disease and its consequences. In the summer of 2009, Senate Bill 819, also known as The Jamie Schanbaum Act, requiring meningococcal (A, C, W, Y) vaccination of college students, passed despite two previous unsuccessful attempts.

In Jamie’s spare time she became a cyclist. This hobby turned into one of Jamie’s passions when she won a gold medal in the 2011 US Paralympic cycling games.

Jamie is now working as a GSK spokesperson to educate parents and young adults about the dangers of meningitis and the vaccines available to help prevent it. She wants to share her experience so that others can help prevent this devastating disease.

More About Dr, Leonard Friedland:  

Dr. Leonard Friedland is Vice President, Director Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines North America at GSK. He is also a licensed pediatrician in the state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Friedland has held many positions in clinical research and development with GSK since 2003, specializing in infectious disease vaccination.

Prior to his work at GSK, Dr. Friedland was Division Chief, Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Friedland studied medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and conducted his residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and his fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, also in Philadelphia.

He is currently a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and has published over 39 peer reviewed articles during his career.

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