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CDC: Meningitis Vaccine Undergoing Review, Estimated Arrival After Thanksgiving Holiday 

Oliver Morris/Getty Images(PRINCETON, N.J.) -- Vaccination plans for the meningitis outbreak at Princeton University are undergoing review, with an estimated arrival time "hopefully after Thanksgiving holiday," a doctor with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

Plans for vaccination are not final due to the review, but university and state health department officials are working to properly inform students and their parents about the process.

The CDC confirmed seven cases of serotype B meningococcal disease at Princeton and one case in which the serotype has not yet been confirmed. Three cases were confirmed also at UC Santa Barbara.

Though there have been no fatalities, Dr. Amanda Cohn, a CDC pediatrician and expert on meningococcal disease, said there were "some very serious cases."

"In the 10 years I've been working at the CDC, we have never expanded use of an unlicensed product (for meningitis)...I think it speaks to the very high attack rates we saw at Princeton University...we needed to do something to prevent additional cases," Cohn said Monday.

In typical meningitis outbreaks on college campuses, the attack rate is between 10 and 20 per 100,000 population. At the university, it is roughly 100 per 100,000, or 1 per 1,000 on campus.

Current vaccination plans exclude most faculty members in order to target those at highest risk --- undergraduate students, Cohn said. The vaccine is an unlicensed product.

The CDC did not comment on whether the imported vaccine will be approved in the U.S., nor did Cohn go into detail on how many doses will be used at Princeton and how many people will receive it.

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