Meningitis Vaccine Use Expanded to Young Children

Menactra use expanded to children aged 2 to 10 years

MONDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded the approved age range for the bacterial meningitis vaccine Menactra to include children aged 2 to 10 years. The vaccine had previously been approved only for patients aged 11 to 55.

The FDA recommends the vaccine to control outbreaks of bacterial meningitis, for high-risk children such as those lacking a functioning spleen or with certain medical conditions, or for those who travel to areas where bacterial meningitis is common.

The other meningococcal vaccine available for children aged 2 years or older in the United States is Menomune. Both Menomune and Menactra are manufactured by Sanofi-Pasteur and protect against four groups of Neisseria meningitidis.

The efficacy of Menactra was evaluated in eight clinical trials involving 10,057 patients receiving Menactra and 5,266 patients receiving Menomune. Menactra induced an immune response within one month. Observed side effects were minor, most commonly pain at the injection site and irritability. As a precaution, people who have previously been diagnosed with Guillian-Barre syndrome should not receive Menactra.

More Information

Physician's Briefing