Recent trends in meningococcal epidemiology and current vaccine recommendations

Current Opinion in Pediatrics
Robert S Baltimore


In 2005, a new meningococcal vaccine, tetravalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) was approved for use. This review discusses the population for whom it is recommended and the logic underlying these recommendations. The older meningococcal vaccine, composed of capsular polysaccharide, had limited use in civilian populations. The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommend the routine vaccination of adolescents with MCV4. This recommendation is largely based on newer epidemiologic data showing a considerable risk of meningococcal disease in late adolescence, most of which is preventable with vaccine. The new MCV4 vaccine should be used in primary-care practices for the immunization of all adolescents and high-risk children and adults. In the future, further studies are likely to show it to be safe and effective for younger children too.


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Related Concepts

Meningococcal Infections
Neisseria meningitidis
Vaccines, Conjugate

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