New vaccination option for meningitis B

Trumenba is now one of two meningitis B vaccines available in the UK. It is indicated for the prevention of invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis group B in individuals aged 10 years and older.

After babies and children under five, teenagers and young people are the second most at-risk group for contracting meningitis. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
After babies and children under five, teenagers and young people are the second most at-risk group for contracting meningitis. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The dosing of Trumenba includes both two- and three-dose schedules, allowing healthcare professionals to administer the vaccine depending on individuals' risk of exposure and susceptibility to meningitis B.

Dr Tom Nutt, chief executive of Meningitis Now, said: "Recognised as the most common form of meningococcal disease in the UK, Men B is most prevalent amongst babies and young children followed by teenagers. The licensing of Trumenba marks another victory in our battle against meningitis and it takes us another step closer to fulfilling our mission where no one in the UK dies from the disease."

Meningitis B is unpredictable, can progress rapidly and is associated with a significant risk of death and life-changing after-effects. Environmental and social risk factors such as close-quartered living and sharing behaviours amongst adolescents and young adults make this age group a population at increased risk of meningitis B, and thus a critical demographic for vaccination against the disease.

The safety profile of Trumenba was established during clinical trials in 15,000 patients, with injection site reactions, headache, fatigue, chills, fever, diarrhoea, nausea, myalgia and arthralgia being the most commonly seen adverse reactions.

Trumenba contains two variants of Neisseria meningitidis factor H binding protein (fHbp), from the A and B immunological subfamilies. Over 96% of meningococcal group B isolates in Europe express at least one of these variants.

Immunisation schedule

The manufacturer of Trumenba, Pfizer, says it will be working with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the Department of Health "to discuss greater access to the vaccine in the future via the national immunisation programme".

Since September 2015, the existing meningitis B vaccine Bexsero has been offered routinely to all babies at the age of 2 months and 4 months, with a booster at 12—13 months of age.

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