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Nigeria first to roll out new meningitis jab

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Nigeria has become the first country in the world to roll out a new vaccine (called Men5CV), recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to protect against five strains of the meningococcus bacteria and which could put the country on a path to elimination of the deadly disease.

The vaccine and emergency vaccination activities are funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which funds the global meningitis vaccine stockpile, and supports lower-income countries with routine vaccination against meningitis.

“Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Nigeria’s roll-out brings us one step closer to our goal to eliminate meningitis by 2030.”

The Men5CV vaccine shields against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, Y and X) in a single shot, and offers broader protection than the current vaccine used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.

Last year the number of meningitis cases jumped 50% in Africa.

Nigeria, with a population of 220m, is one of the continent’s 26 meningitis hyper-endemic countries in what’s known as the African Meningitis Belt: 153 people died during an outbreak between 1 October and 11 March.

A major milestone on the road to defeat meningitis is the international summit on meningitis taking place in Paris this month, where leaders will come together to celebrate progress, identify challenges and assess next steps. It is also an opportunity for country leaders and key partners to commit politically and financially to accelerate progress towards eliminating meningitis as a public health problem by 2030.

 

WHO article – In world first, Nigeria introduces new 5-in-1 vaccine against meningitis (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:


 

Multi-billion rand strategy from WHO to eradicate Africa’s meningitis by 2030

 

Hope for cheaper, effective meningitis jab after African trial success

 

Nigeria launches mass meningitis vaccination campaign after 336 deaths

 

 

 

 

 

 

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