Approval for Meningitis Vaccine Expanded to Include
MONDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the Menactra vaccine
has been expanded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to
prevent meningitis and other forms of meningococcal disease in
children as young as 9 months, the agency said in a news
Menactra is already approved to prevent meningococcal disease in
people aged 2 years to 55. The deadly
Neisseria meningitidis bacteria infect the bloodstream and
lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Despite treatment,
as many as 15 percent of people who contract meningitis and related
diseases die from the infection, the FDA said. As many as 20
percent who survive suffer severe complications, which may include
brain damage, loss of limb or loss of hearing.
Infants and toddlers are more susceptible than older people to
the illness, which may cause death within hours of onset, the
agency said. Early symptoms often are confused with those of the
Menactra was evaluated in four clinical studies involving more
than 3,700 infants and toddlers as young as 9 months. The most
common adverse reactions included injection-site tenderness,
irritability and fever.
Menactra was first approved in 2005 for people aged 11 to 55. In
2007, approval was expanded to include children as young as 2
years. The vaccine is produced by Sanofi Pasteur, based in
To learn more about vaccination for meningococcal disease, visit
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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