Potential MenB vaccine effective with other childhood jabs

Potential MenB vaccine effective with other childhood jabs

08 February 2012

New data funded by Novartis Diagnostics and Vaccines published today in The Journal American Medical Association (JAMA) has revealed that their new MenB vaccine (4CMenB) when administered with routine infant immunizations was effective against meningococcal strains and produced minimal interference with the response to the other routine vaccinations.

The data was first presented at the 29th annual meeting of the European Pediatric Infectious Disease (ESPID) in 2011.

Meningococcal group B disease is the leading cause of life-threatening meningitis and septicaemia in the UK for which there is currently no vaccine. The disease is difficult to diagnose in the early stages, with symptoms appearing similar to common flu-like illnesses. Therefore, prevention through vaccination is the best way to control these deadly diseases.

Nicoletta Gossger, M.D. of Oxford University of Oxford and colleagues assessed the immunogenicity (the ability to produce an immune response) and reactogenicity (producing adverse reactions) of 4CMenB, in a large group of infants, given in 2 different schedules, with or separately from routine vaccinations.
Participants were randomized to receive (1) 4CMenB at 2, 4, and 6 months with routine vaccines (7-valent pneumococcal and combined diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis, inactivated polio, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines); (2) 4CMenB at 2, 4, and 6 months and routine vaccines at 3, 5, and 7 months; (3) 4CMenB with routine vaccines at 2, 3, and 4 months; or (4) routine vaccines alone at 2, 3, and 4 months.
Results indicate that 4CMenB was immunogenic, generally well tolerated, and showed minimal interference with routine vaccines in the first year of life. If licensed, the decisions regarding vaccine introduction will require detailed assessment of potential vaccine coverage at a regional level and monitoring after implementation to determine the accuracy of such predictions. Nevertheless, this vaccine could potentially provide improved protection for infants against meningococcal disease beyond the protection provided by currently licensed vaccines.

Chris Head, Chief Executive of Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) said: “Babies and toddlers are most at risk from Meningococcal group B disease. The results from these clinical trials are very reassuring and offer optimistic prospects for enhancing the level of protection against MenB in the near future. If a safe and effective MenB vaccine does become available, it is essential that Government give it full consideration as soon as possible, especially given the shocking lifetime costs to people who survive MenB and are left with serious, life-long disabilities such as brain damage, amputations, and hearing loss. We welcome any vaccine that can continue our progress towards a world free from meningitis and septicaemia.”

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Sam Williams
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