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First Vaccine Approved for B Strains of Meningitis

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The first vaccine to protect against a type of meningococcal bacteria that can cause meningitis has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

When Neisseria meningitidis bacteria infect the bloodstream or lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, it can cause life-threatening illness. The bacteria typically are transmitted by coughing, kissing or sharing utensils, especially in close living quarters such as college dormitories.

Of some 500 U.S. cases of meningitis recorded in 2012, 160 were caused by serogroup B, the FDA said in a news release. Trumenba protects against four strains in serogroup B.

If a person develops an infection, antibiotics may help reduce the risk of death or permanent complications, but treatment must begin immediately, the agency said.

The newly approved Trumenba vaccine is sanctioned for people aged 10 through 25, the FDA said.

Trumenba was evaluated in clinical studies among more than 6,000 participants in the U.S., Europe and Australia. The most common side effects were injection-site pain and swelling, headache, diarrhea, muscle and joint pain, fatigue and chills.

The new meningitis vaccine, granted accelerated approval, will be further evaluated by the manufacturer against additional serotype B strains, the FDA said.

Trumenba is manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a Philadelphia-based subsidiary of Pfizer.

More information

Visit the FDA to learn more.


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