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Medical News and Perspectives
March 23/30, 2005

New Vaccine Should Ease Meningitis Fears

JAMA. 2005;293(12):1433-1434. doi:10.1001/jama.293.12.1433

The recent licensing of a new meningococcal conjugate vaccine has prompted government officials to expand recommended immunization practices. The new vaccine is expected to drastically reduce the prevalence of invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, Y, and W-135, which make up the majority of cases in the United States.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended on February 10 that children aged 11 and 12 years, teens entering high school, and college freshman living in dormitories receive meningococcal (groups A, C, Y, and W-135) polysaccharide diphtheria toxoid conjugate vaccine (Menactra). This vaccine, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur (Swiftwater, Pa), received US Food and Drug Administration approval on January 14, 2005.

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