Fact Sheet on New Meningococcal Vaccine
At its February 2005 meeting, the ACIP announced new recommendations for the use of the recently-approved meningococcal conjugate vaccine, Menactra®. This new vaccine provides protection against 4 of the 5 different types of meningococcus, specifically A, C, Y, and W-135.
This new vaccine is recommended for the following populations:
- Adolescents entering middle school (11-12 year olds) or high school (15 years old);
- Children and adults without a spleen;
- Children and adults who lack complement proteins;
- College freshmen living in dormitories;
- People exposed to someone infected with meningococcus during an outbreak if the type of meningococcus is one contained in the vaccine (types A, C, Y or W-135)
- Children and adults who will be travelling to sub-Saharan Africa between December and June;
However, because everyone between 12 and 19 years of age is at risk for meningococcal disease, any teenager or young adult could reasonably choose to get the vaccine..
The American Medical Association recently collaborated with the Childen's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in their production of a new fact sheet on meningococcus and the new conjugate vaccine. This fact sheet was distributed to over 120,000 primary care physicians across the United States. For more details on meningococcus, please visit the CHOP website.