Meningococcal polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines.
Snape MD., Pollard AJ.
It is now 5 years since the UK became the first country to introduce the serogroup C meningococcal polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines (MenC) into its routine immunisation schedule. This article reviews the global use of MenC with particular reference to the range of immunisation strategies used internationally. To date, concerns that MenC may result in an increase in meningococcal disease due to non-C serogroups have not been realised. The vaccine has proved to be highly safe and effective; however, concerns have arisen regarding the duration of vaccine effectiveness. Although booster doses of MenC may potentially extend the duration of protection offered by the vaccine, there are, as yet, no studies assessing this option. Clinical trials are underway to assess new combination conjugate vaccines (containing A, C, Y, and W polysaccharides), and it is probable that these more broadly protective vaccines will become available in the near future.