Meningococcal infection is the leading cause of serious invasive disease in the world. This pathogen is responsible for the majority of sepsis and meningitis that occur and continues to be a serious public health problem, causing great social alarm.
It is a devastating disease that, in a few hours, causes a previously healthy patient to go through an extremely serious medical situation. Although its incidence is not very high, it causes death in 10% of cases and leaves serious sequelae in 20% of cases, affecting all ages.
Meningococcal B vaccine is now available for out-of-hospital use. Its administration is indicated for the entire population, starting at 2 months of age. It is injected intramuscularly and the number of doses varies between 2 and 4, depending on the age of the patient in the first dose.
In Spain it is not financed by the National Health System, although the Spanish Association of Pediatrics has been recommending it since last year. Its price is 106.15 euros. Some countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and some regions of Germany and Italy have already included it in their official vaccination schedules.
What are the risks of the vaccine?
The vaccine has no contraindications, except in case of hypersensitivity to any of its components. In clinical trials in infants vaccinated at 2, 4 and 6 months of age, fever was reported in many of the children when Bexsero was co-administered with regular vaccines; in contrast, in subjects injected with Bexsero alone, fever appeared in a smaller number of infants.
When the bexsero vaccine was administered alone, the frequency of occurrence of fever was similar to that associated with routine childhood vaccines. When the temperature increased, it usually followed a predictable pattern and disappeared, in most cases, the day after the injection.
In adolescents and adults, the most common local and systemic adverse reactions observed in clinical trials were injection site pain, malaise and headache.
Pediatric experts did not observe an increase in the incidence or severity of adverse reactions with subsequent doses in the vaccination series. This vaccine opens up the possibility for the first time of dealing with invasive meningococcal B disease.