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Friday 21st October 2016

Meningitis booster shots needed

6th June 2008

Research has discovered that immunity from meningitis C can fall over a period of time.


The findings mean that teenagers may now need a booster dose of meningitis C vaccine.

The study in the British Medical Journal looked at 1,000 children and found that more than 20% of adolescents aged 11 to 13 - a group at high risk of infection - appeared to have inadequate protection.

Researchers suggested that the length of term of protection offered by the vaccine seemed to depend on the age a child received the immunisation.

In 1999/2000 a meningitis C catch-up campaign offered a single injection for children aged one to 18 but it seems that those who were 10 or older gained the ongoing protection. Now, children receive two doses; at three months and one year.

Study leader Dr Matthew Snape from the Oxford Vaccine Group said a booster jab for teenagers may be appropriate.

He said: “Over the next few years children who were immunised between the ages of one and six will be entering adolescence and it's important to maintain immunity to meningitis C in this age group.�

Latest figures show that there were no meningitis C deaths in England last year among the under-19s.

The Department of Heath said if a problem were to be identified, it would step in with a booster as appropriate.

Professor Adam Finn, head of the Bristol Children’s Vaccine Centre, said the research showed that at some point a booster would “probably be necessary� but there was no real urgency.


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