FDA Approves New Vaccination for Infants

John Fisher
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On June 14, 2012, the FDA approved a combination meningitis vaccine, called Menhibrix, for those between the ages of six and eighteen months.  It is the first vaccine to prevent meningococcal disease in infants, which can occur when bacteria infects the lining of the brain and spinal cord.

 

Dosage:

 

Menhibrix is administered in four doses at months two, four and six, with the fourth dose between months 12 and 16. The last dose can be given as early as six weeks, and the last, as late as 18 months.

 

Adverse Reactions:

 

The vaccine was tested on 7,500 infants from the United States, Mexico, and Australia and the top side effects included: pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, irritability, and fever.

 

The Disease:

 

There are approximately 2,600 cases of bacterial meningitis per year in the United States, and on average 333,000 cases in developing countries. The case fatality rate ranges between 10 and 20 per cent.

 

While Meningococcal disease is not as contagious as the common cold (which is spread through casual contact), it can be transmitted through saliva and occasionally through close, prolonged general contact with an infected person

 

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