Meningitis booster shots needed6th 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: â€śOver 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.â€?
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 Childrenâ€™s Vaccine Centre, said the research showed that at some point a booster would â€śprobably be necessaryâ€? but there was no real urgency.
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Title: Meningitis booster shots needed
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 7030
Date Added: 6th Jun 2008