New recommendations include a booster dose to protect adolescents when they are most vulnerable to the disease.
In light of new data, the American Academy of Pediatrics has released updated guidelines for the use of quadrivalent meningococcal vaccines to include a booster dose.
According to the new recommendations, which are consistent with those issued by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), adolescents should be routinely immunized at age 11 or 12 and receive a booster dose at age 16 to protect them during their high period of vulnerability.
When the guidelines for immunizing adolescents with quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine were first published in 2005, immunity was expected to last 10 years. However, data on the 2 available vaccines—Menactra and Menveo—demonstrated that protective antibody concentrations decreased after 5 years.
ACIP added a booster dose at age 16 following a comprehensive analysis of the data regarding the persistence of immunity, the epidemiology of meningococcal disease, vaccine effectiveness, and the cost-effectiveness of various vaccination strategies.
The new AAP guidelines, which are published in the December issue of Pediatrics, include the following:
For individuals who are at risk of invasive meningococcal disease because of persistent component deficiency or functional or anatomic asplenia, a booster dose should be given 3 years after the primary series if the primary 2-dose series if it was given from 2 through 6 years of age, and 5 years after the primary 2-dose series if it was administered at age 7 or older. Boosters should then be given every 5 years.
To access the recommendations, click here.