The first and only FDA-approved vaccine for active immunization to prevent invasive serogroup B meningococcal disease in patients aged 10 to 25 years is now available for order by retail pharmacies.

Serogroup B meningococcal meningitis has a high fatality rate, and its onset can often occur within 24 hours. About 60% of adolescent survivors experience hearing loss, neurologic damage, or the loss of a limb, according to a press release from Pfizer. Among US adolescents aged 11 to 24 years, about 30% of meningococcal disease is serogroup B, and 10% of those cases result in death, according to the release.

While meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics to reduce the risk of death or serious long-term problems, vaccination is the most effective way to prevent it.  

Susan Silbermann, president and general manager of Pfizer, said in a press release that the company had been working around the clock to make its meningococcal group B vaccine (Trumenba) available to US pharmacies and other health care providers.

“We continue to work very closely with the [US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s] Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to help inform discussions and potential recommendations regarding prevention of meningococcal group B disease through vaccination, an important step to improve access to Trumenba and help in the prevention of such a devastating disease,” Silbermann said in a press release.

The most commonly reported side effects among those who received Trumenba were pain at the injection site, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue, and chills.

Orders for the vaccine may be placed by contacting Pfizer’s customer service department at 1-800-666-7248.