Vaccine for Meningitis C `wears off`
London: According to a research done by the Oxford Vaccine Group at Oxford University, three-quarters of children that are vaccinated against Meningitis C lose their protection against the disease by their early teens.
The study of 250 children aged six to 12, presented to a European conference, looked at immunity seven years after the jab was given, reports BBC.
The group tested the children, who had all been vaccinated for protection against Meningitis C, for levels of antibodies against the bacteria in their bloodstream.
It was found that just one-fourth of the children had sufficient levels of the antibodies to give them protection against the disease.
“This study is just the latest to show that the personal protection given by meningitis C vaccines in early childhood doesn`t last forever,” lead researcher Professor Andrew Pollard told the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) meeting in Nice, France.
“And several countries have now responded to these findings by introducing teenage boosters, before protection fails in the population,” he added.
"By giving each teenager a booster dose of meningococcal vaccine as they are entering adolescence, we can ensure that they are protected when they most need it,” deputy head of the Health Protection Agency’s Vaccine Evaluation Unit in Manchester, Dr Jamie Findlow said.
“If, as a result of this research, a booster programme is introduced, we would actively encourage the introduction of this,” he added.