Multi-strain meningitis vaccine launched

A quadrivalent vaccine can protect Britons travelling abroad from four strains of meningitis.

Menveo, a quadrivalent conjugate vaccine, protects adolescents and adults against four of the five major strains of bacteria that cause meningitis and septicaemia. It is the first multi-strain conjugated meningitis vaccine to be launched in the UK.

Previously, the JCVI has said that ‘individuals should be advised that Menveo is likely to provide longer lasting immunity' than a polysaccharide vaccine.

The vaccine will be aimed at those travelling to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj/Umrah pilgrimage, where people face increased risk of meningitis due to exposure to diverse strains and crowded conditions where the disease could spread.

A four-strain meningitis vaccine was recently made mandatory for entry to Saudi Arabia.

Cambridge GP Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth said that GPs and practice nurses needed support in the area of travel health.
‘Many GPs and practice nurses refer people to specialist travel clinics for the travel vaccinations which are not available on the NHS,' she said.

‘There needs, therefore, to be much more information and support for GPs and nurses who are often travellers' first point of reference regarding immunisations.'

She added: ‘It is within the scope of our duty of care to provide information on travel immunisations that are not available free on the NHS even if we are not administering a vaccination.'

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