December 8, 2008
One-fifth of meningitis vaccine effective
One-fifth of the standard dose of a commonly used meningitis vaccine may be as effective as using the full dose, researchers in Norway said.
Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and colleagues at Epicentre -- the research arm of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres -- and Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda said the finding should allow scarce vaccine resources to be stretched further, especially during epidemics in Africa.
Serum bactericidal activity response and safety/tolerability using one-fifth dose were comparable to a full dose for three serogroups -- A, Y, W135, but not a fourth -- C.
The study, published in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, said that in view of the current shortage of meningococcal vaccines for Africa, the use of one-fifth fractional doses should be considered as an alternative in mass vaccination campaigns.