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Monday, April 25, 2011

US : Meningitis vaccine for babies 9 months

Article from UPI, excerpt :

" A vaccine against meningococcal disease has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for children as young as 9 months, officials say.

Dr. Karen Midthun, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, says neisseria meningitidis is a leading cause of meningitis in young children -- it progresses rapidly and can cause death within hours although early symptoms are often difficult to distinguish from influenza and other common illnesses.

Even with appropriate antibiotics and intensive care, between 10 percent and 15 percent of people who develop the disease die and another 10 percent to 20 percent suffer complications such as brain damage or hearing loss, Midthun says.

The safety of Menactra in children as young as 9 months was evaluated in four clinical studies in which more than 3,700 participants received the vaccine."

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