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CDC Committee Recommends HibMenCY Vaccine for Infants at Risk of Meningococcal Infection

Vaccine can be used in infants aged 2 through 18 months (Oct. 24)

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has voted 13 to 1, with 1 abstention, to recommend that infants at increased risk of developing meningococcal disease should be vaccinated with four doses of the HibMenCY vaccine at 2, 4, 6, and 12 through 15 months.

The recommendation includes infants with recognized persistent complement-pathway deficiencies and infants with anatomic or functional asplenia, including sickle cell disease. The HibMenCY vaccine can be used in infants aged 2 through 18 months who are in communities with serogroup C and Y meningococcal disease outbreaks.

Meningococcal disease is a serious, vaccine-preventable bacterial infection caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. The two most severe common illnesses caused by these bacteria are meningitis and bloodstream infections. Infants with certain medical conditions, such as sickle-cell disease or complement-component deficiency, are at increased risk of developing meningococcal disease.

The incidence of meningococcal disease has declined to historically low levels since the last peak in disease in the late 1990s. Most infant cases are caused by a type of the bacteria that is not prevented by meningococcal vaccines. Moreover, most infant cases occur within the first 6 months of life, before a vaccine would likely be able to provide protection, since three doses are needed (at 2, 4, and 6 months) to maximize the immune response.

Source: CDC, October 24, 2012.

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