Yesterday, the FDA approved meningitis B Vaccine and by doing so, they have helped stop meningitis outbreaks on college campuses. Last year, there have been some meningitis outbreaks at the Princeton University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. When that happened, the schools sought permission to vaccinate the students, because the meningitis B vaccine was not yet approved in the United States.
The FDA approved meningitis B vaccine is called Trumenba. It helps young people against becoming sick with meningitis B, a potentially deadly disease caused by bacteria. Trumenba is only approved in people 10 to 25 years of age and it is manufactured by Pfizer Inc.
Before being approved, Trumenba was tested in 2,800 adolescents in Europe and the United States. For the tests, the young people were given three doses of Trumenba and it was revealed that 82% of them had antibodies that killed four different strains of meningitis B. These four strains are the strains that typically cause meningitis B inside the U.S. Before vaccination, only 1% of the people had those antibodies in their blood.
Side effects of the FDA approved meningitis B vaccine, Trumenba include headache, diarrhea and inflammation at the side of injection.
What makes Trumenba special is the fact that it is the first meningitis B vaccine in the U.S. that get approved. Meningitis B is caused by sergroup B of the Neisseria Meningitides bacterium. It was estimated by Pfizer that the disease affects 25,000 to 80,000 people each year. In the U.S. there are around 160 cases of meningitis B every year.
Pfizer said in their official statement that they have other vaccines that are already approved to prevent infections with four other serogroups of the meningitis bacterium: A, C, Y and W.
If a person gets infected with meningitis B, they can be treated with antibiotics, but the outcome isn’t good. Up to 15% of the people infected die from the infection, and up to 19% of the survivors have long term disabilities, such as limb amputations and brain damage. Vaccination is the best preventive measure against the disease and the FDA approved meningitis B vaccine will soon be available.