Meningitis Vaccine Approved For Use In EuropeMain Category: Immune System / Vaccines
Also Included In: Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses
Article Date: 22 Jan 2013
A meningitis B vaccine to prevent the most common and dangerous strand of the disease has been approved for use in Europe.
Novartis received a license from the European Union for the marketing of Bexsero, the first vaccine to prevent life-threatening meningitis. The vaccine will be made available for use in humans who are at least two months old.
Bexsero is designed to protect all ages including vulnerable infants. Meningitis B disease has a high mortality rate. Even survivors have a serious risk of critical, life-long handicaps.
Novartis is working to make the vaccine available to the public as soon as possible.
Meningitis UK Founder, Steve Dayman MBE commented:
"This meningitis B vaccine is the most important medical breakthrough in the 30 years since I lost my son to the disease. It could save thousands of lives and prevent other parents suffering the same tragedy. The vaccine must be made widely available through the immunisation schedule as soon as possible - any delay could mean lives lost."
Meningitis B is a bacterial infection. It is the main cause of meningitis throughout Europe, especially in babies. It is notorious for affecting healthy people without any warning signs, but still remains fairly rare.
Symptoms of the disease are similar to the flu, therefore many people are initially misdiagnosed. Because of the misdiagnoses, medical professionals cannot treat people with this disease fast enough to prevent harmful outcomes. Close to one in ten of those infected end up dying, regardless of treatment.
Nearly one in five survivors of the disease undergo debilitating, life-long handicaps like:
Andrin Oswald, Division Head, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics explained:
"Each year, thousands of parents see their children die or left with severe disabilities as a result of this devastating disease. Through the combined efforts of many people over two decades, we are closer than ever to seeing an end to this suffering. Our vision is a world without meningitis, and our priority is to work with decision makers across Europe to ensure there is broad and timely access to vaccination."
Now that Bexsoro has been given the green light by the EU regulatory committee, the members of the European Union will examine Bexsoro for possible inclusion into immunization programs and reimbursement schemes where applicable.
Bexsoro is the result of over 20 years of intense vaccine research. Its immunogenicity and tolerability have been tested and verified through a comprehensive clinical program consisting of adults, youths, kids, and babies.
Bexsoro has developed many options for an immunization schedule that will fit with routine vaccination visits starting at two months of age.
There was a meningitis outbreak in 2012. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says it aims to concentrate on meningitis, hantavirus, and West Nile virus in the coming months of 2013.
Written by Kelly Fitzgerald
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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