A novel tetravalent meningococcal vaccine appears to be safe and effective in infants, according to the results of a British and Canadian randomised controlled trial. The meningococcal vaccine currently used in the United States to immunise adolescents (serogroup ACWY) is poorly immunogenic in infants — the group with the highest rates of disease. The researchers administered the tetravalent conjugated meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY) to 225 UK and 196 Canadian infants and compared results with a monovalent vaccine. Outcome measures were safety, reactogenicity and human complement serum bactericidal activity — a measure of vaccine effectiveness. MenACWY was well tolerated and immunogenic for the tested serogroups. A booster at 12 months was found to address the problem of waning titres by this age. Despite limitations associated with the small size of the study, the authors conclude the new vaccine extends immune protection in infants and appears to be safe.
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