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<p>Meningitis B is in the news recently with the story of the mother from the US who is taking a busload of students to Canada to get vaccinated. I was recently reading Paul Offit and Charlotte Moser's book <em>Vaccines and Your Child...</em> and he addressed the issue with the meningitis B vaccine in this way:</p>
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<div> Type B [meningitis] isn't in the [MCV4] vaccine because its polysaccharide, the complex sugar coating that surrounds the bacterium, is similar to a protein found on some human cells. This raises the theoretical concern that the vaccine might cause autoimmunity (where the body reacts against itself.)</div>
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<p>He said that it might be possible to have a vaccine for meningitis B by 2013 in the US, using a protein rather than the polysaccharide. This might be essentially the same vaccine recently approved in Canada (Bexsero by Novartis) which also does not use the polysaccharide. Apparently, it was just made available in Canada this year. It has also been used on an emergency basis here in the US during campus outbreaks.</p>
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<p>Info from Canada: <a href="http://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/immunization-for-meningococcal-serogroup-B" target="_blank">http://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/immunization-for-meningococcal-serogroup-B</a></p>
<p>CDC info: <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/outbreaks/vaccine-serogroupB.html" target="_blank">http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/outbreaks/vaccine-serogroupB.html</a></p>
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<p>It might be approved and added to the schedule here in the US within the next few years. How would you all feel about another first-year vaccine on the schedule?</p>
 

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As I understand it, this would probably be a vaccine for teenagers. The current meningitis vaccines that are given to teenagers, Menactra (MCV4) - a quadrivalent conjugate vaccine and Menmune (MPSV4) - a polysaccharide vaccine, do not protect against the B strain. It was the Meningitis B strain that sickened students at Princeton and UCSB earlier this year. The current schedule calls for adolescents to receive their first dose at 11-12 years of age, usually when they are due for a Tdap booster and their first HPV shot. A booster at 16-18 years of age is also recommended.. I would have no problem with my daughter getting another shot to prevent meningitis B.
 

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The uk schedule includes a meningitus vaccine for infants. I forget right now which meningitus. I've always wondered why the us chooses not to recommend it.
 
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