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

roduct even more useful in hard-to-reach areas, the PATH-WHO-SIIL team succeeded in getting more out of limited resources," said Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla, SIIL chairman. "We have opened a door that we can expect other vaccine manufacturers to walk through in the future."

Clinical trials, carried out in India, the Gambia, Ghana, Mali, and Senegal, beginning in 2005, showed the vaccine to be safe and highly effective. Indian regulatory authorities granted marketing authorization for export and use of MenAfriVac in December 2009. In June 2010, the vaccine was prequalified by WHO, which guarantees that the vaccine meets international standards of quality, safety, and efficacy. "The process of developing this vaccine and planning for its introduction helped strengthen systems in Africa for disease surveillance, clinical research, pharmacovigilance, vaccine regulation and vaccination logistics," Prziosi said.

The GAVI Alliance has thus far contributed US$162 million to the effort to eliminate meningococcal A meningitis in Africa, and has committed to supporting its introduction across the remaining 15 or so nations.

Progress and impact of new meningitis vaccine

As of today, with the support of the GAVI Alliance, UNICEF, PATH, WHO, and their partners, along with the commitment of national governments, MenAfriVac vaccination campaigns have taken place in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan. Benin is joining the group this week. It is estimated that by the end of 2012, more than 100 million people in Africa's meningitis belt will have received the lifesaving new vaccine that is already demonstrating significant impact on the course of the disease that has wreaked havoc for more than a century on the continent.

  • In Burkina Faso―where the new group A conjugate vaccine was first introduced in December 2010―the number of meningitis cases was at its lowest in over a decade in 2011. In addition,
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Contact: Coimbra Sirica
CSirica@burnesscommunications.com
301-943-3287
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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