Bexsero - Meningococcus B Vaccine
Meningococcus is a bacteria that is like the shark attack of the infectious world. It strikes with very little warning, death can occur and there is risk of losing a limb or two. Penicillin can fix it, but detecting it early is impossible. There are a 13 serotypes designated letters such as A, B, and C.
Type B causes 80% of disease in Australia is responsible for nearly all the deaths. Type C has had an effective vaccine since 2003. But type B has a large number of strains which has made vaccine development difficult until now.
Bexsero is the name given to the new vaccine and it covers around 80% of Meningococcus B strains in Australia and other parts of the World. It is not yet on the standard schedule but is recommended and can be obtained privately.
Based on their higher disease risk, 4CMenB is recommended for these groups:
- Infants and young children, particularly those aged <24 months
- Adolescents aged 15 to 19 years
- Children and adults with medical conditions that place them at a high risk of IMD, such as functional or anatomical asplenia or complement component disorders
- Laboratory personnel who frequently handle Neisseria meningitidis.
For infants aged <6 months, 3 primary doses of 4CMenB plus a booster at age 12 months are recommended. Fewer doses are required for older age groups.
4CMenB may be given to infants at the same time as other infant vaccines that are given under the NIP, but must be given at a separate injection site. The 1st dose of 4CMenB may be administered as early as 6 weeks of age to align with the NIP infant schedule.
More from www.immunise.health.gov.au
The increasing demand for Bexsero across the world means that supply of the vaccine to Australia is constrained and will be unavailable until early 2017. [au.gsk.com]