2nd Global meeting on implementing new and under-utilized vaccines, 23-25 June 2008
Serogroup A meningococcus causes periodic large meningitis epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa in the "meningitis belt". In this area, stretching from Senegal to Ethiopia, 430 million people are at risk. Even with antibiotic treatment, at least 10% of patients die and up to 20% have serious permanent health problems as a result of the disease. The current approach to responding to epidemics is with the polysaccharide meningococcal A-containing vaccines. In view of the limitations and drawbacks of this approach, however, a conjugate meningococcal A vaccine has been developed. Data from clinical trials show it to be safe and highly immunogenic in the 1 to 29 year-old population with all the characteristics of a conjugate vaccine. Licensure and prequalification are anticipated by the end of 2009 for individuals of 1-29 years of age and by the end of 2011 for infants. Discussions on this issue focused on surveillance. The need to provide support to early-adopter countries for post-marketing surveillance was highlighted.
- Define objectives for a comprehensive surveillance system and develop standard operating procedures for collection of data on disease incidence and adverse events following immunization.
- Strengthen and support vaccine safety monitoring structures in early-introducing countries.