Meningitis B: Everything about Its Vaccination and Precaution
Reports of cases of the disease have appeared in social networks, but specialist of the American Society of Immunizations ensures that there is an outbreak
Recently, cases of meningitis have been reported on social networks and scared at all by gravity. The disease can be caused by viruses or meningococcal bacteria. For the first situation, there is no immunization, but for the latter, the vaccine against group C is already available in the public network, and vaccines against group B (20%), and W, Y, A are available on the private network.
Cases of meningitis are frequently appearing on social networks. Is any region of the country having disease outbreak?
No. What happens is that since cases are usually severe, whenever there is any occurrence, there is a commotion from a large number of people. in 2010 the number of cases of the disease has greatly decreased.
What is the difference between the vaccines available in the public and private networks?
In the public network, immunization is only against type C. In the private sector there are two vaccines available. A against meningococcus type B, which arrived in 2015, and the meningococcal conjugate ACWY that protects against the four groups.
How much does the meningococcal vaccine type B in the private network cost?
About 540 to 650 reais the dose.
Who is this vaccine for?
Especially for babies and teenagers. In the case of babies, the occurrence is low, but the lethality rate is high, even if all treatment is received. So it is very important to vaccinate them from the two months. In the case of adolescents, the bacteria are often asymptomatic, which is very dangerous, since someone infected can transmit it to a large group of people without even knowing it.
What is the vaccination schedule against meningococcus B?
The minimum age to take the vaccine is two months and the ideal is to take it shortly thereafter because younger babies are the most vulnerable. For babies 2 to 5 months, there are 3 doses with interval of 2 months between them. Then there should be reinforcement between 12 and 15 months. For babies 6 to 11 months, there are 2 doses also with interval of 2 months. Reinforcement should occur in the second year of life. Already for those who are between 1 and 10 years are 2 doses with interval of 2 months. No reinforcement needed.
What are the adverse reactions?
The most common are pain and redness on the spot. There may also be a fever.
Do you consider that it would be important for the vaccine against meningitis B to be included in the SUS?
There is already a petition created by parents for the vaccine to be made available by SUS. I believe that the more vaccines available in the public network, the better. But the vaccine against meningococcal B has a long production time, so there is an operational question. As it has new technology, even the private network has been suffering from its lack in some periods because of problems in the production chain.
At that moment, I think we are well-considered with the National Immunization Program, which includes immunization against meningococcal C. The most important thing is that parents are aware of updating the vaccination portfolio because we are having a low coverage of important vaccines for babies. It is not enough to conquer the right to a vaccine, it must be enforced. A good opportunity for this is the vaccination portfolio update campaign that has already begun.