"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

New vaccine against meningitis could soon be available

October 26, 2023 – A brand new meningococcal vaccine that gives higher protection against the rare but potentially deadly disease will soon be available.

Vaccines exist already that protect against the kinds of bacteria that may cause meningitis. However, 4 or five vaccinations are required for full protection, typically given at different times between ages 11 and 18. The recent “pentavalent” version protects against all five kinds of bacteria that cause most cases and is prepared in only two shots.

Meningococcal disease is attributable to several types of bacteria Meningococci which will be transmitted via saliva. Many people carry the bacteria of their nose or throat without getting sick, but sometimes it enters the body and may cause serious illness.

People who change into sick may develop a brain swelling called meningitis or bloodstream infections. In rare cases, people die inside 24 hours or survive with long-term disabilities. Quick treatment will be life-saving, but symptoms akin to fever and a stiff neck are harking back to the flu or COVID-19 and sometimes make in search of medical help less urgent. Even with timely antibiotic treatment, 10 to fifteen people out of 100 die and one in five survivors is disabled, the study found CDC.

The recent vaccine produced by Pfizer and was called Penbraya approved from the FDA last week. An independent advisory committee made its advice to the CDC for vaccination on Wednesday, CNN reported reported. It is approved to be used in people aged 10 to 25 and protects against meningococci groups A, B, C, W and Y. The vaccine consists of two vaccinations, with the vaccinations given 6 months apart.

Reducing the variety of vaccinations required could improve vaccine uptake. A presentation at Wednesday's CDC Advisory Committee meeting showed that only 30% of 17-year-olds receive even a single dose of vaccine, CNN reported.

The recent vaccine has been shown in clinical trials to extend the immune response. However, in its press release, Pfizer warned that vaccination with Penbraya may not protect all people from infections or invasive diseases.