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Actor portrayal of an older teen driving a car and text reading "The only 5 in one meningitis vaccine" and "Even though he's 16, you still want to help protect him"

Nearly 9 out of 10 older teens aren’t fully vaccinated against 1 or more leading types of meningococcal meningitis*

Among 17-year-olds in the 2022 National Immunization Survey, only 61% had received 2 or more MenACWY vaccine doses and only 12% had received 2 or more MenB vaccine doses.

Meningococcal meningitis is uncommon, but can begin with mild, flu-like symptoms that can turn deadly in less than 24 hours. And survivors may face devastating consequences.

Text reading "5 in one meningitis vaccine" Text reading "5 in one meningitis vaccine"

Pfizer’s PENBRAYA provides the broadest protection against all 5 leading types—A, B, C, W, and Y—of meningococcal meningitis with the fewest shots.

Meet 2 meningitis survivors

Jamie and Rayna weren’t concerned when their symptoms started, but it quickly became clear that it wasn’t a cold or the flu. Their parents then got the call—their daughters were seriously ill.

Listen as Jamie and Rayna share what it was like to survive meningitis as young adults.

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Video transcript

BEFORE

Rayna

I was 17 years old when I entered into Virginia Tech, and I went there because I had a full ride scholarship to play basketball.

Jamie

Before I got sick, I was a student at the University of Texas. I worked really, really hard to get there.

Rayna

I was just thrilled and excited to be on my own. Out of mom and dad's house, no more curfew checks.

FIRST SYMPTOMS

Jamie

When I first got sick, my first symptoms were very minimal, and I didn't think too much of it.

Rayna

I really thought I had the flu.

One of the coaches came into the locker room to check with me: "Hey, Ray, you know, I noticed you weren't feeling too good."

And I was like, "I can't make it to practice. Can you help me?"

14 HOURS LATER

Jamie

My sister drove me to the hospital. There were, like, 10 nurses around me, putting IVs in me, getting me ready for I don't know what.

I was put in a semi-medicated coma for about 4 weeks.

Rayna

I was in a coma for 3 weeks.

Jamie

I would wake up from time to time and I would see my limbs go from red rash to purple to black.

Everyone showed up…. Like, “Do I come now? Is she going to die?”

26 HOURS LATER

Rayna

My parents found out from a phone call about 4 o’clock in the morning.

Absolutely terrifying.

Jamie

My mom stuck with me the whole time. She made all the toughest decisions ever.

Like, the day when she got the paperwork to sign off: “Your daughter's legs are going to be amputated.”

Rayna

My parents basically moved into the waiting room.

Like most parents, when their kids are hurting, they're hurting ten times worse.

WEEKS LATER

Rayna

All the blood circulation had stopped flowing to my fingers and my toes, my liver, my kidneys had stopped functioning properly.

Jamie

The doctors were saying, “Oh, it's going to be one foot; oh, it's going to be a couple of fingers. Oh, it's going to be all your fingers. Oh, it's going to be both feet.” It just kept getting worse and worse.

3 MONTHS LATER

Rayna

And when I finally was able to get my voice back and talk, asking my parents, “How did this happen? I was vaccinated.”

And then I remember my doctor, who was also in the room saying, “You were vaccinated for everything except for what you contracted.”

Because there was no vaccine for meningitis B at the time.

Jamie

I found out later that I had meningitis C, and that was a type of meningitis that was vaccine preventable

I didn't have any information about the vaccines out there.

TODAY

Jamie

And there's reasons. And so my reason is right now. I'm just telling my story and making sure people are aware of it.

Rayna

For the last 15 years, I would travel the country encouraging people to get vaccinated.

Jamie

I'm one of the lucky ones. I survived. And I'm here today to encourage all parents to talk to their teens’ doctors about vaccinating them against meningitis.

Is your teen fully vaccinated?

Actor portrayal of an older teenager and his mother Actor portrayal of an older teenager and his mother

Your teen may have received a meningitis shot at age 11 or 12. But they may not have received additional shots once they turned 16, to help protect them from all 5 leading types of meningococcal meningitis—A, B, C, W, and Y.

Learn more about PENBRAYA

Check with your teen’s doctor

Our guide can help you start a conversation with your teen’s doctor about ensuring they’re fully vaccinated against all 5 leading types of meningococcal meningitis.

Get discussion guide

Next: How dangerous is meningitis?