August 30, 2016
By Reuters Staff
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Either of two newly licensed serogroup B meningococcal vaccines may be used in healthy adolescents and young adults for short-term protection against serogroup B meningococcal disease, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
However, routine use of these vaccines is only recommended for individuals age 10 and older who are at increased risk of serogroup B meningococcal disease, according to the statement, which is in agreement with recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The AAP released the statement online in Pediatrics on August 29.
Six of the 12 known serogroups of Neisseria meningitidis cause invasive disease in humans: A, B, C, W, X and Y, according to the statement from the AAP's Committee on Infectious Diseases. A and X are rare in the U.S.
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The first meningococcal vaccine against serogroup B (MenB-FHbp, Trumenba, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals) was licensed in October 2014, and a second (MenB-4C, Bexsero, Novartis Vaccines) followed in January 2015. MenB-FHbp is given as a three-dose series for individuals at increased risk, and in two doses for those not at increased risk, while MenB-4C is always given as a two-dose series.
In February 2015, ACIP recommended routine use of MenB vaccines in people age 10 and older who are at increased risk of serogroup B meningococcal disease, including people with persistent complement component diseases, people taking eculizumab (Soliris, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Cheshire, CT), individuals with functional or anatomic asplenia, and healthy people at risk due to a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak. The new AAP statement backs these recommendations with a category A recommendation.
In June 2015, ACIP stated that healthy 16- to 23-year-olds who are not at increased risk can be considered for the vaccine for short-term protection but should not receive the vaccine routinely. The AAP also supports this guideline with a category B recommendation.
The quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY) is recommended for people who travel to areas where meningococcal disease is hyperendemic or epidemic, first-year college students living in dorms, and military recruits, the authors note, although the MenB vaccine is not recommended for these groups. "Except during outbreaks, the available data do not suggest an increased risk of MenB disease among college students relative to non-college students of the same age group," the AAP advises.
For short-term protection during outbreaks, the authors add, the preferred age for Men B vaccination is 16 to 18, "based on limited data on antibody persistence and the peak ages of invasive serogroup B meningococcal disease."
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