FDA allows meningitis vaccine for infants as young as 2 months

Infants seven times more likely to contract disease than teenagers, young adults

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a vaccine against meningococcal disease for use among patients of a broader age range than before.

Novartis announced the FDA's approval of Menveo (meningococcal [Groups A, C, Y and W-135] oligosaccharide diphtheria CRM197 conjugate vaccine) in infants and toddlers as young as 2 months of age. The vaccine protects against four strains of the bacteria Neisseria meningitides. Infants younger than 7 months are considered the most vulnerable to the disease, and infants are seven times more likely to contract the disease than those aged 14 to 24.

"Each year, more children in the U.S. die or are left with permanent disability from meningococcal disease than from two other diseases combined that we routinely vaccinate infants against, rotavirus and varicella," University of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Center for Global Health physician Steve Black said. "With the expanded indication for this MCV4 vaccine, we now have the opportunity to help protect our infants against four strains of meningococcal disease earlier, when they are most vulnerable."

 

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