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Meningitis A vaccine breaks barrier; first to gain approval to travel outside cold chain
Date:11/14/2012

Michel Zaffran, director of Optimize, the PATH-WHO collaboration aimed at improving immunization systems and technologies. "But this is the first time that a vaccine intended for use in Africa has been tested and submitted to regulatory review and approved for this type of use. And we expect this announcement to build momentum for applying the CTC concept to other vaccines and initiatives, allowing us to save more lives in low-income countries."

Evidence of the heat stability of MenAfriVac was validated by a team of experts from WHO, PATH, SIIL, and Health Canada. In collaboration with the government of Benin, the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP), Optimize, and the WHO regional office for Africa, a pilot use of the MenAfrivac vaccine in a CTC will be conducted during the upcoming MenAfriVac campaign in the northern part of the country, from November 15 through 25. Benin is the 10th country to introduce the vaccine, as well as the first country to work with the new CTC implementation guidelines, developed through WHO's Immunization Practices Advisory Committee.

"Vaccines save and improve lives wherever they are used, but reaching the millions of children in last mile communities like those in rural Africa continues to challenge us," said Dr. Orin Levine, director of Vaccine Delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Today's announcement marks a new milestone because it allows us to extend the delivery of the MenAfriVac vaccine from the traditional cold chain and reach more people across Africa, safely and efficiently."

New evidence of vaccine's efficacy in combating meningitis A in Africa

Other research discussed at the conference in Atlanta suggests that MenAfriVac has already begun to do its job, eliminating meningitis A in the first countries where it was introduced. The authors of a recent paper in Clinical Infectious Diseases say they expect to see the impact repeated in all the countries that roll out the new vaccine.

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Contact: Coimbra Sirica
CSirica@burnesscommunications.com
301-943-3287
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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