BFFs Soleil Moon Frye and Melissa Joan Hart Are Collabing Again — On Meningitis Awareness

Soleil Moon Frye and Melissa Joan Hart rose to stardom on some of our favorite TV shows growing up, from Punky Brewster and Clarissa Explains It All to playing best friends-slash-roommates on Sabrina the Teenage Witch — a role pairing that couldn’t have fit them better, considering their real-life friendship.

Now as parents (Frye has four kids, Hart has three), they’re still close confidantes, with Frye calling Hart “one of the closest people in my life.” That means, like many moms, they’re constantly in communication about their parenting experiences. “We’re always talking about the ins and outs of parenting from safety to medical to, ‘my teenager’s doing this right now, my little one’s doing this right now,” Hart tells SheKnows.

That’s why it felt natural for the two stars to collaborate together on a new project: the Ask2BSure campaign to raise awareness for the meningitis B vaccine.

What Is Meningitis B?

A quick primer: meningitis occurs when there is inflammation of membranes around the brain and spinal cord, according to the CDC. It’s uncommon but can be very serious, sometimes causing life-threatening complications and even death. Some groups of meningitis, fortunately, can be prevented by vaccines — but two different kinds of vaccines are necessary to cover them: one vaccine protects from groups A, C, W, and Y, and the other protects for group B.

The second, aka the meningitis B vaccine, has only been available since 2014 and is under-used as a result: according to CDC data, 7 out of 10 17-year-olds in the US didn’t receive a dose of it in 2021. And that’s significant, because 16 to 23 year-olds are at the highest risk for meningitis — and meningitis B causes the majority of meningitis-related deaths in this age group, according to data from 2015 to 2018.

Teaming Up To Spread the Word

As a mother herself, Frye says she heard of meningitis B from a friend and “had no idea” it was different — and required a different vaccination — than other types of meningitis. “I realized that if I was unaware of it, there must be so many people that are also unaware of it,” she says.

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