2017  
  2016  
  2015  
  2014  
  2013  
  2012  
  2011  
  2010  
  2009  
  2008  
  2007  
  2006  
All adolescents who can afford should take meningococcal vaccine
Dr KK Aggarwal | 03 Feb 2012

Neisseria meningitides is a bacterium that causes serious illnesses, including bacterial meningitis. The bacteria lives on surfaces of the nose and pharynx (wind pipe) and is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with respiratory secretions said Padmashri & Dr. B.C. Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India.

Neisseria meningitides is a bacterium that causes serious illnesses, including bacterial meningitis. The bacteria lives on surfaces of the nose and pharynx (wind pipe) and is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with respiratory secretions said Padmashri & Dr. B.C. Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India.

 

Although meningococcal disease is easily treated in most people, 10 to 14 percent of people die from the infection.

 

Meningococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (MCV-4, Groups A, C, Y and W-135) is recommended for all patients between 11 and 55 years of age. However US FDA has granted licensure to expand the indication for its meningococcal conjugate vaccine, to include children 2 years through 10 years of age.

 

These recommendations represent a change from the previous guidelines, which targeted specific subgroups. Factors related to the expanded recommendations include the ongoing risk of invasive meningococcal disease in adolescents and young adults, and the possibility that increased vaccine coverage may protect unvaccinated adolescents and their contacts.

 

Apart expert groups recommend the MVC4 vaccine for college freshmen living in dormitories, military recruits, travelers going to areas where meningococcal disease frequently occurs, microbiologists who are exposed to Neisseria meningitidis, people who have had their spleen removed, and people with terminal complement deficiency. The vaccine can be used in adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

 

MCV4 vaccine is given in one dose. A booster dose is recommended every 3 to 5 years for adults over 55 who are at high risk of meningococcal infection. Vaccination has also been used during outbreaks of meningococcal infection to reduce the number of secondary cases, when there is an appropriate vaccine available for the outbreak serogroup.

 

Routine vaccination is not recommended for adults between 20 and 55 years of age. The incidence of meningococcal disease is low in this age group and not affected by routine immunization.

About the author: Padmashri & Dr. B.C. Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal is a Senior Consultant, Physician, Cardiologist at Delhi based Moolchand Medcity; President Heart Care Foundation of India; Chairman Ethical Committee Delhi Medical Council and has served as the Research and Academic Wing Heads of National Indian Medical Association.