It's a life-saving vaccine that's offered free of charge in half the country, and Coquitlam Coun. Neal Nicholson wants B.C. added to that list.
Nicholson introduced a notice of motion Monday that calls on the province to reconsider its policies around administering meningitis vaccines, specifically the meningococcal conjugate vaccine.
The motion also asks the province to "provide details of that reconsideration and its results" to the public and to Coquitlam council.
The motivation behind Nicholson's motion is the deaths of two Coquitlam residents who died from meningitis in recent years: Brodie Campbell, who died in 2007 at the age of 15 and Leo Chan, a 19-year-old University of Victoria student who died in January.
"Heightened awareness is what I want to see be the for-sure result coming out of this," Nicholson said Wednesday. "Free provision across the spectrum is the ideal result."
According to Nicholson, the vaccine known as MCV4 is offered for free in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories.
A bacterial infection that inflames the lining of the spinal cord or brain, meningitis spreads quickly and can kill an otherwise healthy person within 24 to 48 hours. The symptoms are similar to the flu and include a high fever, nausea, muscle aches and a sore neck.
The disease is particularly prevalent among younger people ranging in age between 12 and 27.
"These kids who are in that age group, they're close together," Nicholson said. "You're banging heads on the field, or you're sitting across a two-foot table studying together."
According to HealthLink BC, meningococcal quadri-valent vaccines protect against four types of meningococcal bacteria: types A, C, W-135 and Y.
These vaccines are not part of the routine schedule of childhood vaccinations.
However, they are provided free to children or adults with medical concerns that put them at high risk of contracting the bacteria.
As well, the vaccine is recommended for university and college students, especially those who live on campus. In those cases, the vaccine is not free, but can be requested for about $75 from a doctor or pharmacist.
Nicholson's motion will go before council at the Oct. 15 meeting.