Meningococcal Vaccine Protection May Wane as Early as 3 Years Post-Vaccination

79% effective at less than one year, drops to 61% at three to less than eight years
79% effective at less than one year, drops to 61% at three to less than eight years

HealthDay News — For adolescents, the effectiveness of the one-dose meningococcal (groups A, C, W, and Y) polysaccharide diphtheria toxoid conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-D) decreases at three to less than eight years post-vaccination, according to a study published online January 18 in Pediatrics.

Amanda C. Cohn, MD, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a case-control evaluation of vaccine effectiveness (VE) and duration of protection of MenACWY-D. They identified cases of culture- or polymerase chain reaction-confirmed serogroup A, C, W, and Y meningococcal disease among adolescents through meningococcal disease surveillance sites. Per case, the authors attempted to enroll four friend and school controls. 

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Serogroups C, Y 80, and W 13 accounted for 49, 44, and 7% of enrolled cases, respectively. Twenty percent of cases and 44% of controls received MenACWY-D. The researchers found that at zero to eight years post-vaccination, the overall VE estimate was 69%: VE was 79, 69, and 61%, respectively, at less than one year, one to less than three years, and three to less than eight years. VE was 77 and 51%, respectively, against serogroups C and Y.

"MenACWY-D was effective in the first year after vaccination but effectiveness waned three to less than eight years post-vaccination," the authors write. "The estimates of VE from this evaluation informed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in its decision to add a booster dose of MenACWY."

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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