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Drug update

Meningococcal vaccines

Jenny Royle

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Abstract

Although meningococcal disease is very rare, it is a sinister illness. Even with appropriate antibiotic therapy, the fatality rate is about 8 to 10%. Prevention with a safe effective vaccine is the best approach.

Article Extract

There are two main types of meningococcal vaccines, a polysaccharide type, which provides short-term protection against several strains of Neisseria meningitidis, and a conjugate vaccine, which provides long-term protection against serogroup C. The conjugate vaccine is effective in infants aged under 2 years; infants in this age group do not respond to traditional polysaccharide vaccines.

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