THURSDAY, Oct. 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) — A new vaccine recommended Wednesday by independent advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could provide more comprehensive protection from meningitis. The CDC is weighing the advisers’ recommendation.
The shot would protect against five types of bacteria causing meningococcal disease, one more than now covered in a single vaccine, CNN reported. Right now, to be protected against all five bacteria types, a person would need four or five shots — two for MenACWY at age 11 or 12 years and again at 16, and a MenB shot between 16 and 18 years of age.
Penbraya is the new meningococcal vaccine made by Pfizer, CNN reported. This new vaccine, which requires CDC approval, would be for 16- to 23-year-olds who are healthy and those 10 years and older who have increased risks. It consists of two doses, delivered six months apart.
“Penbraya, the first FDA-approved 5-in-1 meningococcal vaccine, provides adolescents and young adults in the U.S. with the most comprehensive protection available against the leading causes of meningococcal disease,” Luis Jodar, M.D., Pfizer chief medical affairs officer for vaccines, antivirals, and evidence generation, said in a company statement. He added that Penbraya could help simplify a complex vaccination schedule.
The advisory committee’s vote to recommend the shot was 10 to 4, followed by a unanimous vote to add the vaccine to the Vaccines for Children administration plan, CNN reported.
Committee member Kathy Poehling, M.D., a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology and prevention at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was among the no votes. It was not for lack of faith in the vaccine, she said. “We know that there’s been tremendous benefit from the vaccines that are being administered. And there’s a lot more to learn,” Poehling told CNN. “My vote no was because I wanted to vote for a little bit of a broader recommendation. I respect that of my colleagues and believe there are going to be many more conversations to come about meningococcal vaccines.”
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