ACIP OKs Meningitis Vaccine (Menveo) for High-Risk Infants

Troy Brown, RN

October 23, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted today to recommend (13 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain) the meningococcal conjugate vaccine MenACWY-CRM (Menveo, Novartis Vaccines) for use in infants and young toddlers who are at increased risk for meningococcal disease. That group includes children aged 2 through 23 months with complement deficiencies or asplenia, those living in areas experiencing outbreaks, and those traveling to or living in areas with high rates of meningococcal disease, including sub-Saharan Africa or Mecca.

MenACWY-CRM prevents invasive meningococcal disease that is caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, Y, and W-135. It does not prevent infections caused by N meningitidis serogroup B. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine for children in this age group on August 2, as reported by Medscape Medical News; it had previously been approved for use in adolescents and adults (11 - 55 years of age) in February 2010 and in children (2 - 10 years of age) in January 2011.

The recommended schedule is administration at ages 2, 4, 6, and 12 months. Children who remain at increased risk for meningococcal disease should have booster doses 3 years after the primary vaccination series and every 5 years thereafter.

MenACWY-CRM can be given with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 13 in children, including those who are asplenic.

The committee also voted (14 yes, 1 abstain) to include the MenACWY-CRM vaccine in the Vaccines for Children program.

Two parents of children who had died or suffered debilitating effects from meningococcal disease pleaded with the committee to make the vaccine available to all children, and not just those at high risk.

"Are there plans to make sure that parents are aware of this vaccine?" voting member Kathleen Harriman, PhD, MPH, RN, chief of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Epidemiology Section, Immunization Branch, California Department of Public Health in Richmond, asked. "That goes for providers, too...because if something isn't recommended by the ACIP, they often think perhaps there's some reason they shouldn't be giving it," Dr. Harriman added.

The advisory committee develops written recommendations for use of vaccines that are licensed in the United States, taking into consideration age for vaccine administration, number of doses and dosing interval, safety issues, and precaution contraindications.

One of the voting members reported that her institution receives grant money from pharmaceutical companies for research. None of the other voting members have disclosed any relevant financial relationships.


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