Lifetime Strives to Raise Awareness on Meningitis B


Lifetime's new short film educates viewers on preventing meningitis B, which can cause the devastating loss of loved ones and features Soleil Moon Frye and Melissa Joan Hart.

Meningitis   (Adobe Stock 205926551)


(Adobe Stock 205926551)

Meningitis B can be serious, even when the patient receives appropriate treatment, and after as short as 24 hours. While the disease is thankfully rare, 1 in 10 cases results in death. Fortunately, a vaccine is available now for the disease, and it is given to 16- to 23-year-old individuals because they are at a higher risk of being infected. Meningitis B is caused by bacteria called group B Neisseria meningitidis

The cause of this infection is a group of bacteria called group B Neisseria meningitidis that reside in the nose and throat and can be transmitted through close contact, such as coughing, kissing, or sneezing. This bacterium can infect the membrane which surrounds the brain and spinal cord, as well as cause septicemia, a severe bloodstream infection.

To raise awareness about meningitis B, Lifetime will feature a new short film, sponsored by GSK as part of the Ask2BSure campaign, titled I Never Thought to Ask: A Mom’s Quest for Answers.

According to the press release, “In the short film, actor, and documentarian Soleil Moon Frye is joined by Melissa Joan Hart, as well as a medical expert; a meningitis survivor; and mothers who have lost their children to meningitis B. Frye, a mother of 4 children, is passionate about the topic and is advocating to empower parents to talk with their teen’s doctor about meningitis B and vaccination.”

Leonard Friedland, MD, Vice President and Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health at GSK, the sponsor of the film, told Infection Control Today, "Even though the decision to vaccinate against meningitis B relies on a discussion between the health care provider and parent, not all pediatricians may proactively discuss vaccination with their patients and their parents. The more informed parents are about the two different types of vaccinations needed to help protect against the five vaccine-preventable groups of meningitis, one for A, C, W, Y, and a separate one for meningitis B, the better equipped they are to have these important discussions with a health care professional.”

Many parents, teenagers, and young adults may be unaware that meningitis B requires a separate vaccine from the standard vaccines given throughout childhood. Prior to the development of the vaccine, the fatality rate was 5 to 15%.

A recent study in National Library of Medicine, “analyzed scientific studies to understand how many young people in the USA have received meningococcal vaccines and whether they received them at the recommended ages. We found that a low proportion of young people aged 16 or older have received appropriate meningococcal vaccination compared to those under 16. We looked at reasons why this might be the case and identified actions that could be taken to increase the proportion of young people age 16 or older who receive appropriate meningococcal vaccination. Overall, the information found confirms the importance of encouraging health care professionals to establish routine appointments with 16-year-olds, during which they can administer recommended, age-appropriate vaccines.”

Don't miss the airing of I Never Thought to Ask: A Mom's Quest for Answers on Lifetime network on Sunday, June 25, 2023. You can also check out an extended version of the short film and more content online at

Related Videos
Medical investigators going over data. (AdobeStock 589197902 by Wasan)
CDC logo is seen on a laptop. (Adobe Stock 428450603 by monticellllo)
Association for the Health Care Environment (Logo used with permission)
Ambassador Deborah Birx, , speaks with Infection Control Today about masks in schools and the newest variant.
mRNA technology  (Adobe Stock 485886181 by kaptn)
Ambassador Deborah Birx, MD
Woman lying in hospital bed (Adobe Stock, unknown)
GIANTmicrobes at the 2023 APIC Annual Conference and Exhibition.  (Photo by the author)
Washington, USA, US Treasury Department and Inspector General Office.    (Adobe Stock File 210945332 by Brian_Kinney)
A plasmid is a small circular DNA molecule found in bacteria and some other microscopic organisms. (Adobe Stock 522876298 by Love Employee)
Related Content