Raising Awareness About Health Choices

Preserving the Fundamental Human Right to Health Freedom

Meningitis, the Wheat from the Chaff

October 07, 2018 8:43 PM | Anonymous member

For most parents meningitis strikes fear in their heart, and rightfully so as it is a very rare but serious condition marked by inflammation of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. There are two types of meningitis, aseptic and bacterial, it is the reason behind the inflammation that differentiates the two. Aseptic meningitis may be caused by viruses, mycobacteria, spirochetes, fungi, medications, and cancer malignancies. Bacterial meningitis may be caused by any bacterium. There are meningitis vaccines available but they do not prevent the majority of meningitis cases as we will see below.

In 2015 Ohio legislature added the meningococcal vaccine to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3313.671. All children are required to be vaccinated or submit a written declination upon entering 7th and 12th grade. According to the Ohio Department of Health, your child would receive either Menactra (Sanofi Pasteur) or Menveo (Novartis). These vaccines cover only 4 strains of meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, and Y) out of at least 12 known strains types.

Let's look at the Ohio data


  • 81 cases of bacterial meningitis
  • 2 were from a bacterial strain covered by the required meningococcal vaccine
  • 1 case occurred in the target age for vaccination
  • 79 cases NOT covered by the required vaccination
  • 1 death from meningococcal infection (strain type not stated)


  • 134 cases of bacterial meningitis
  • 3 were from a bacterial strain covered by the required meningococcal vaccine
  • 2 cases occurred in the target age for vaccination
  • 131 cases NOT covered by the required vaccination
  • NO deaths from meningococcal infection

Here are the manufacturer’s inserts for Menactra and Menveo: 

Menactra insert

Menveo insert

Key points to consider:

  • Solicited adverse events are given for 7 days post vaccination in both Menactra and Menveo.
  • Unsolicited serious adverse events (SAE’s) were monitored up to 6 months with Menactra and up to 12 months with Menveo.
  • Menactra and Menveo were both observed for safety alongside the administration of other vaccines and not a placebo.
  • Menactra and Menveo both state in section 13.1 of the package insert “has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or for impairment of fertility.”
  • The Menactra package insert states a risk of vaccine induced Guillain-Barré syndrome (ascending paralysis) within 6 weeks of receiving the Menactra vaccine, potentially 5 children out of 1,000,000 doses administered.
  • The Menveo package insert states 21 months post vaccination 23% - 84% of people aged 11 to 18 years had an adequate antibody level to offer protection, depending on which vaccine was received and strain type. Between 16% and 77% would have not have adequate antibody to offer protection against meningococcal bacteria.

Lets examine the data behind meningococcal prevalence and invasive disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, 13th edition (a.k.a., The Pink Book):

  • “10% of adolescents and adults are asymptomatic transient carriers of N. meningitidis, most strains of which are not pathogenic.” This means they are colonized.
  • In “less than 1% of colonized persons, the organism penetrates the mucosal cells and enters the bloodstream.” This means they are bacteremic.
  • “In about 50% of bacteremic persons, the organism crosses the blood-brain barrier into the cerebrospinal fluid and causes purulent meningitis”.
  • “The case fatality ratio of meningococcal disease is 10%-15%.” 
  • Incidence in United States 3 cases of meningococcal disease per 1,000,000 population.
  • Menactra 6.6% reported incidence for serious adverse events (i.e. resulted in death, life-threatening illness, hospitalization, prolongation of hospitalization, or permanent disability) and of those events 0.3% reported as death.
  • Menveo 0.4% of serious adverse events reported as death.

As you can see from the data most cases of meningitis are not prevented by vaccination with the required meningococcal vaccine. If you are in Ohio and you do not want your child to receive this vaccine, you must submit a written statement declining in leu of the proof of vaccination upon entering 7th and 12 grade. According to Ohio law there is no standardized exemption form but often times the school district will ask you to sign their form. Be cautious of the language and know the minimum requirement is a simple written statement from parent or guardian; you have the legal right to decline to sign their form. To learn more visit Health Freedom Ohio, Ohio Vaccine Laws.

Michelle Cotterman, RN APP is a co-founder of Health Freedom Ohio. She is the mother of two naturally raised children. Her continuing education focuses on Holistic Health and includes Polarity Therapy, Homeopathy, and Herbalism. Michelle has been studying the science behind vaccines and the vaccine industry since 2010.

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