Nigeria Becomes first country to unveil new meningitis vaccine

April 13, 2024

1.4 min readCategories: Health

 

World Health Organisation (WHO) has said Nigeria is the first country in the world to roll out a new meningitis vaccine (called Men5CV).

The new vaccine, uses the same technology as the meningitis A conjugate vaccine (MenAfriVac®), which wiped out meningococcal A epidemics in Nigeria.

The vaccine and emergency vaccination activities are funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which funds the global meningitis vaccine stockpile and supports lower-income countries with routine vaccination against meningitis.

WHO stated that the revolutionary new vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, Y, and X) in a single shot. All five strains cause meningitis and blood poisoning.

This, it noted, provides broader protection than the current vaccine used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.

The new vaccine is said to have the potential to significantly reduce meningitis cases and advance progress in defeating meningitis.

“Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

“Nigeria’s rollout brings us one step closer to our goal to eliminate meningitis by 2030.”

“Northern Nigeria, particularly the states of Jigawa, Bauchi, and Yobe were badly hit by the deadly outbreak of meningitis, and this vaccine provides health workers with a new tool to both stop this outbreak but also put the country on a path to elimination,” Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate of the Nigerian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare was quoted as saying by Channels Tv.

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About the Author: Yetunde Ogunmola

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