Approval for Meningitis Vaccine Expanded to Include Toddlers

As young as 9 months

MONDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the Menactra vaccine has been expanded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent meningitis and other forms of meningococcal disease in children as young as 9 months, the agency said in a news release.

Menactra is already approved to prevent meningococcal disease in people aged 2 years to 55. Despite treatment, as many as 15 percent of people who contract meningitis and related diseases die of the infection, the FDA said. As many as 20 percent who survive suffer severe complications. Infants and toddlers are more susceptible than older people to the illness.

Menactra was evaluated in four clinical studies involving more than 3,700 infants and toddlers as young as 9 months. The most common adverse reactions included injection-site tenderness, irritability, and fever.

Menactra was first approved in 2005 for people aged 11 to 55. In 2007, approval was expanded to include children as young as 2 years. The vaccine is produced by Sanofi Pasteur, based in Swiftwater, Pa.

More information

To learn more about vaccination for meningococcal disease, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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