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

. This revolutionary vaccine continues to break new ground as it rolls out across the meningitis belt," said Steve Davis, PATH president and CEO. "We are grateful for all the institutions and the individuals who have made this vision a reality. Our efforts won't stop here. Our next step will be to develop a thermostable multivalent meningitis vaccine that protects against the other causes of meningitis in the region. We will stay ahead of this disease that causes such destruction to health systems, economies, and Africa's most valuable resourceits children and young people."

MenAfriVac, first vaccine developed specifically for Africa

Developed by the MVP partnership between the WHO and PATHwith support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation―the meningococcal A conjugate vaccine MenAfriVac provides African health authorities, for the first time, with an affordable, long-term solution that protects even young children against meningitis A (group A Neisseria meningitidis).

MenAfriVac was developed to meet the need in Africa for a safe, effective, and affordable vaccine. The vaccine is now being tested on children who are less than one year of age to ensure it can be included safely in the routine vaccination programs, according to Godwin Enwere.

"If we can immunize the infants, then we will be able to make exponential progress in preventing epidemics because all the age groups most at risk of disease will be protected for a significant period of time," said Enwere, who is the author of a paper being presented on the infant study at the ASTMH conference.

The rapid development of MenAfriVac has happened thanks in large part to SIIL, which worked closely with partners to overcome the 20-year lag between the time a vaccine is approved for use in wealthy nations and when it is used in the nations that suffer from the greatest burden of disease.

"By going beyond that vision, and by asking ourselves what can be done to make this p
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Contact: Coimbra Sirica
CSirica@burnesscommunications.com
301-943-3287
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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