Vaccine Deals a Blow to Meningitis A in Africa

Monday, November 30, 2015

A conjugate vaccine has led to control and near total elimination of meningitis A disease in Africa, according to studies.

The findings are from a collection of 29 articles written by guest editors from Public Health England and the former Meningitis Vaccine Project, a partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international health non-profit PATH.

Results from the studies published in the Clinical Infectious Diseasesjournal this month (10 November) show that MenAfriVac® vaccine, has nearly eliminated the disease in Africa’s “meningitis belt.”

According to Marie-Pierre Preziosi, a vaccines specialist at the WHO, the researchers used a mathematical modelling with a wide range of datacollected from previous epidemics, MenAfriVac® vaccine campaigns in Burkina Faso, its clinical trials, and other data about disease and immunisation in Africa.

“We then applied several different long-term vaccination scenarios to this model and determined the best strategy for how countries might wish to implement this vaccine going forward,” Preziosi tells SciDev.Net.

Their strategy, according to Preziosi, predicted long-term protection into national immunisation programmes for children aged 9 to 18 months, no later than five years after the initial mass campaigns in people aged 1 to 29 years, with a catch-up campaign on unvaccinated children born since the initial campaign.

Source: Science and Development Network (link opens in a new window)

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