Image via WikipediaConcerns about the New Meningitis Vaccine- Menactra-
Several years ago, improvements to the meningococcal meningitis vaccine led to the licensure of Menactra.
Menactra offers the advantage of a longer duration of coverage.
However, soon after it was licensed, a group of 6 people who got the vaccine developed a syndrome of temporary paralysis called Guillan-Barre Syndrome. The FDA launched a study to see if the vaccine was at fault. We have held off recommending this vaccine until this issue was settled. Note that our stance was never that the Menactra vaccine was dangerous, we just wanted to ensure its safety before recommending it.
Two important studies have now been published and establish that the Menactra vaccine does not cause Guillan-Barre syndrome and we now recommend its use to prevent meningococcal meningitis, the type of meningitis seen in college.
One of the studies looked at the experience of 1.4 million children who got the Menactra shot, in Boston. There were no cases of Guillan-Barre syndrome associated with the shot.
The other study was from the CDC showing no increased risk of developing Guillan Barre syndrome after being immunized with Menactra.
Advanced Pediatrics, on the basis of recent evidence that Menactra has no connection to Guillan-Barre syndrome, is now recommending the routine use of Menactra in all children, starting at age 11-12.
Dr. Arthur Lavin
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