AAP: MenB vaccines are safe for healthy adolescents, young adults




The serotype B meningococcal vaccines MenB-FHbp and MenB-4C are safe and can be administered to healthy people aged 10-25 years, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases.

The AAP recommends that people older than 10 years at increased risk for serogroup B meningococcal disease (category A) should receive MenB vaccines regularly. Category A includes people with persistent complement component deficiencies, people with anatomic or functional asplenia, and healthy people at increased risk because of a disease outbreak.

HUNG KUO CHUN (Thinkstockphotos)

Young adults aged 16-23 years old may receive a vaccination, but it is not routinely recommended (category B), with a preferred vaccination age between 16 and 18 years.

Annual incidence of serogroup B meningococcal disease in people aged 11-24 years in the United States is about 50-60 cases per year, and a routine vaccination program would prevent 15-29 cases and 2-5 deaths per year, the researchers noted. The cost of routine vaccination in the general population would range from $3.7 million per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) to $9.4 million per QALY.

Both MenB-FHbp and MenB-4C have been safely administered in clinical trials, with no deaths related to either vaccine. Data on duration of immunogenicity and proportion of MenB strains covered by vaccines in different geographic regions remain incomplete, and both vaccine manufacturers must complete postmarketing studies to determine overall vaccine effectiveness.

“Pediatricians are encouraged to discuss the availability of the MenB vaccines with families. Discussion should include the low incidence of MenB disease and the unknown efficacy of the vaccines... The treating clinician should discuss the benefits, risks, and costs with patients and their families and then work with them to determine what is in their best interest,” the AAP committee noted.

Find the full study in Pediatrics (doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-1890).

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