Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccine Gains Licensure

Published on

Vaccine News

On October 29, 2014, a new vaccine against invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration. Previously, meningococcal vaccines licensed for use in the U.S. only covered four of the five main serogroups of bacteria that cause meningococcal disease: A, C, W and Y.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 500 cases of meningococcal disease were reported in the United States in 2012; of those, about 1 of every 3 were caused by serogroup B.

Meningococcal disease is scary because it can progress from initial symptoms to death in as little as 24 hours. Unfortunately, it is also challenging to distinguish from more common, less serious diseases during the early period of onset.

While all adolescents are currently recommended to receive the current meningococcal vaccines (either Menactra® or Menveo®), the new serogroup B vaccine, Trumenba®, offers an opportunity to protect against the type of meningococcal infection that was recently diagnosed on the campuses of Princeton University and University of California, Santa Barbara. The new vaccine is given as a shot in three doses with the second dose being given two months after the first and the third dose being given six months after the first. It is licensed for use in 10- to 25-year olds.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will make recommendations about the use of this vaccine in February 2015.

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.