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Princeton's Meningitis Crisis Cuts Through the Usual Vaccine Red Tape

Princeton University campus in Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton University campus in Princeton, New JerseyPhotograph by Craig Warga/Bloomberg

Novartis may have some help from the Ivy League when it comes to getting U.S. approval for its new meningitis vaccine.

Princeton University has been battling an outbreak of meningitis B—a strain not covered by the usual protocols of vaccinations available in the U.S.—that has infected at least seven students since March, with the latest victim hospitalized earlier this month. Now the school has decided to allow students to receive injections of a Novartis vaccine, which has been approved in the European Union and Australia but not by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.