MENINGITIS VACCINE SHORTAGE IS OVER

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Children aged 11 and 12 years canstart receiving the meningitis vaccineMenactra (Meningococcal [Groups A, C,Y and W-135] Polysaccharide DiphtheriaToxoid Conjugate) again. The Centers forDisease Control and Prevention (CDC)restored the recommendation becausethe vaccine shortage has ended.

In May 2006, theagency suggestedthat preteens defergetting the vaccinedue to concern abouta shortfall. The decisionallowed adolescentsentering highschool and college freshmen living indormitories to continue to receive thevaccination. "Where possible, providerswho deferred vaccination ofchildren aged 11 to 12 years shouldrecall those patients for vaccination,"CDC officials said.

Menactra received FDA approvallast year for preventing bacterialmeningitis. The vaccine is manufacturedby Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccineunit of Sanofi-Aventis. The companyexpects to make >6 million doses ofthe vaccine this year and at least 7million next year, said Donna Cary,company spokeswoman.