Conference Coverage

New quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine joins VFC arsenal


A new quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine has been added to the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program for individuals aged 2 years and older.

No changes to the current meningococcal vaccination recommendations were made. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 14-0 to include MenACWY-TT as an option for vaccination against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, and Y in the VFC program. The vote took place in a virtual meeting held on June 24.

The currently available MenACWY vaccines in the United States are MenACWY-D (Menactra), MenACWY-CRW (Menveo), and MenACWY-TT (MedQuadfi), with MenACWY-TT approved by the Food and Drug Administration in April 2020.

Meningococcal vaccination is currently recommended for adolescents, with one dose at age 11 or 12 years and a booster at age 16 years, as well as individuals aged 2 months and older at increased risk for meningococcal disease, according to Lucy McNamara, PhD, of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Dr. McNamara presented considerations from the Meningococcal Work Group, which determined that the inclusion of MenACWY-TT “is of public health importance given recent vaccine licensure and to support security of vaccine supply.”

The Work Group reviewed 10 studies (phase 2 or 3) of MenACWY-TT that included data on short-term immune response, persistence of immune response, immune interference because of coadministration with other routine adolescent vaccines, and incidence of serious adverse events. Overall, the data showed noninferiority of MenACWY-TT, compared with other available products, in terms of response rates, as well as higher levels of immune response in some studies. Serious adverse events were similar, and none determined to be associated with the vaccines.

ACIP member Paul Hunter, MD, of the University of Milwaukee, Wisc., expressed some concerns about pain or side effects for the new vaccine and Tdap when given together. However, a study of coadministration of MedACWY-TT and Tdap, compared with Tdap alone, showed no impact on geometric mean titer ratios.

Overall, the Work Group concluded that “desirable effects outweigh undesirable effects” and that the data favor the inclusion of MenACWY-TT as an option for meningococcal vaccination.

The committee members and Dr. McNamara had no relevant financial conflicts to disclose.

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