FDA approves vaccine to prevent meningitis in toddlers and infants
April 25th, 2011
12:50 PM ET

FDA approves vaccine to prevent meningitis in toddlers and infants

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first vaccine to prevent meningitis in babies and toddlers.  For years, doctors have used Menactra  to vaccinate people between the ages of 2 and  55 to prevent Neisseria meningitidis, one of the leading forms of bacterial meningitis.  Now, doctors have the green light to use it in patients as young as 9 months.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.  According to the Mayo Clinic, it commonly occurs when bacteria from an upper respiratory infection enter the bloodstream, and it is highly contagious.  Even though rates of meningitis are low in the United States, infants and toddler are particularly vulnerable.  It can develop in just a few hours or over a few days.  Even with proper care, the FDA says up to 15% of people who develop meningitis die from the infection.  Additionally, approximately one in four people who contract meningitis suffer complications such as brain damage or hearing loss.

The classic symptoms of meningitis, high fever, headache and stiff neck, may be difficult to detect and can be absent in really small children.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  infants with meningitis may appear slow or inactive, have vomiting, be irritable, or be feeding poorly. They may also suffer seizures.

Menactra was originally approved by the FDA in 2005.  It is manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur Inc.

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Aezel

    In B4 all the wacko conspiracy theorists telling us how vaccines are evil and all the governments in the world and all doctors everywhere are all part of a massive plot to harm children.

    April 25, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • + 100 internets

      enter Ed Bailey.

      April 25, 2011 at 20:29 | Report abuse |
  2. ed Bailey

    Its not an intentional plot to harm children! Its an intentional plot to save money! The knowledge that 350 infants a year would suffer various levels of harm from vaccines is it the record books. Without protection pertussis would kill many more! Reality check, you are playing Russian roulette with your child either way! So why did companies use mercury preservatives, save money, why force vaccinations on kids. Well, two reasons, to protect them AND hmo's would spend fortunes on care in pertussis epidemics! SAVE MONEY.we have little choice. Except the mercury, that is/was a mistake, they won't admit it. They have the law and plan b to wave in your face!!!!!!

    April 25, 2011 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lou

      Widespread vitamin D deficiency are causing millions of premature deaths in the world and they don't even realize it. Whatever..

      We'd be much better off if we wipe out widespread vitamin D deficiency in kids. That's probably the real reason why we have so many vaccines for kids. Keep in mind that there are two types of immune system. One is innate system that depends on vitamin D to function properly 24/7/365 against virus, bacteria, fungi and cancer. It sure works very well against cold, flu, etc only if you are receiving enough vitamin D. Too many researchers are focusing on ACQUIRED IMMUNITY to develop vaccines to make profits!

      By the way, if you don't think we have widespread vitamin D deficiency, why is Dr. Deluca from U of Wisconsin have hundreds of patents on vitamin D analogs for everything? They stand to make billions of profits on them in the near future due to widespread vitamin d deficiency that nobody knows about.

      April 26, 2011 at 07:56 | Report abuse |
  3. ed Bailey

    Also very few people know that congress passed a law PROTECTING their billionaire buddies from financial harm IF you can even prove one child died from a vaccine. They put a limit on what little Johnny was worth! The politicians get how much each year from pharmaceutical companies. Trust them its all for the people, RIGHT!!!!!

    April 25, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. ed Bailey

    Also very few people know congress passed a law putting a cap of lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies EVEN if you can prove your child suffered harm from one shot! Congress protecting their campaign contributions by limiting what little Johnny is worth!!! That's American politics,pad my back pocket and ill protect yours!!!!

    April 25, 2011 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. ed Bailey

    Also most people aren't aware congress decades ago passed a law limiting monetary lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies EVEN if you prove a child died from a shot. A perfect example of American politics. They say what little Johnny is worth and protect their billionaire buds. You pad my pocket and ill protect yours! Aint America grand!!!!!

    April 25, 2011 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ed Bailey

    Sad fact, many children each year die from an allergic reaction called a chemical cascade, the end result to the reaction is a beta blocker. A terminal event that reverse itself and leaves 0 evidence of WHY. They all know how safe they are from the term 'EVIDENCE' that their product caused the event.the Russian Roulette game is not funny or fair. The power has the upper hand,the law, and the money. Anybody have serious answers!

    April 25, 2011 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • toddflanders

      Keep wearing that tin foil hat and dreaming up crazy scenarios to discredit the most important public health advancement in the last 150 years

      April 25, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
  7. toddflanders

    hey ed bailey....get a life. Those laws were passed to ensure that companies can still manufacture vaccines. Under the old law, 1 lawsuit would bankrupt a company. Congress and the courts recognize that it's important to produce vaccines for the public good, they are generally safe and before you and your idiot brethren get going, these companies do not make money manufacturing vaccines. At best they break even. Without these safe guards from lawsuits, there would be no one making vaccines. SO go screw yourself

    April 25, 2011 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DC

      Nicely said.

      April 25, 2011 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      there should not be laws saying who is sue-able and who is not. even if we could sue them the goverment would bail them out with tax money.

      April 25, 2011 at 23:49 | Report abuse |
  8. DC

    Really glad ed bailey stopped posting....it's because of foolish people like him that all these diseases are coming back. Pertussis, measles, Hib.... vaccinate your kids, people. and yes...i vaccinated mine.

    April 25, 2011 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. James

    I was going to need a beta blocker if I kept reading posts by ed bailey! I'm taking my 12-year-old son today to get the meningococcal vaccine. Working in healthcare, I see first-hand the impact of infectious diseases at their worst. We're always relieved when illnesses turn out to be mild... but we are shocked and saddened by the tragic cases. And most are preventable.

    April 26, 2011 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Ross Brown

    the vaccine should be given free to all toddlers and babies in the world because not all parents can afford the vaccine.

    April 26, 2011 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sapotapa Marijetan

    And what do you enlightened ones propose people who have shock allergic reactions to vax components do?

    April 28, 2011 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DC

      If you are allergic to a component, don't get the vaccine.....it is those people that should benefit from herd immunity. Vaccinate those of us that can get vaccines to protect those that can't.

      May 2, 2011 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
  12. Jaerou Kim

    Thank you for your valuable post. We have decided to share it with our global physician audience at PhysicianNexus.com: http://physiciannexus.com/forum/topics/fda-approves-vaccine-to

    Jaerou Kim
    Team Member
    Physicians Comparing Treatments Worldwide

    May 2, 2011 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Motherof4

    You all need to study up on what really is in a vaccine. You will be shocked to find that most of them have side effects such as SIDS and Seizures. If 5 adults die or are harmed by a medication – you see an outcry for it to be pulled off the market and then an attorney decides to create a class action. When children die or are harmed, we are prevented from
    filing a suit against big Pharma. It is a matter of fact that most of the children that come down with a disease that we have a vaccine for are the very ones that received the vaccine in the first place. Your herd mentality argument is all wrong. Those of you that are subjecting your children to these vaccines are the very ones that are allowing these diseases to dig deep and entrench themselves in your childrens bodies so that LATER big Pharma has a built in market share of people that will be in need of their drug later. NO ONE should decide what medications your children get...that is a parents right. Look at the Amish children...they never get vaccinated and yet they are the healthiest in our nation. We vaccinate your kids for things that you only saw in 3rd world countries...times have changed and so have the vaccines. Our kids get 2 x the number that we did when we grew up. We need to boost the immune systems of our children to protect them....not pump them full of
    toxins that will eventually harm them. Dont be such a herd of sheep .

    May 3, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fatherof4

      Where are your statistics coming from? The Amish children are the healthiest in the nation? Who says? We vaccinate because we do not want the life expectancies or diseases of 3rd world countries. So you are going to boost your childrens' immune systems against Smallpox, Polio, and Human papillomavirus – good luck with that, and stock up on that Vitamin C!

      May 18, 2011 at 10:15 | Report abuse |
  14. Michele Hood

    As a survivor of bacterial meningitis (18 months old) who very nearly died, I WILL be asking my sons' pediatrician for this vaccine. I have absolutely no qualms about it either. Meningitis can kill a child in 24 hours. This vaccine is a blessing.

    July 22, 2011 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
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