Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Bacterial Meningitis Vaccine for Pre-Teens and Teens

     One of the scariest bacterial infections in children, adolescents, and young adults is bacterial meningitis. It can come on suddenly. It can quickly progress to a deadly infection. Our Menveo vaccine for bacterial meningitis helps prevent cases of Neisseria meningitis due to strains A, C, W, and Y. Approximately 30% of all Neisseria meningitis cases in the U.S. were due to strain B, which is not in the Menveo vaccine.
     The FDA has now approved a vaccine called Trumenba that helps prevent cases of meningitis due to this B strain. It is currently approved for 10-25 year olds. It is a three shot series given at a doctor's visit then 2 months and 6 months after the first. The side effects are similar to other vaccines given to adolescents: soreness of the arm, tiredness, and headache. Generally, the vaccine has been well tolerated. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the national committee of vaccine specialists that make the recommendations we follow, is going to make a further recommendation on the Trumenba's routine use in February of 2015.
     I anticipate that in 2015, we will start to routinely recommend the vaccine series. I will keep you updated. For now at least, we do not stock the vaccine. I will definitely want my three teenage sons to receive the vaccine.

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