Health & Medical Vaccinations

FDA OKs Meningitis Vaccine for Infants

FDA OKs Meningitis Vaccine for Infants April 26, 2011 -- The FDA has approved the use of Menactra, a vaccine that prevents a life-threatening form of meningitis, in children as young as 9 months.

Menactra is already approved for use in people ages 2 through 55. It helps prevent invasive meningococcal disease caused by a bacterium called Neisseria meningitidis.

The FDA says as many as 15% of people who get meningococcal disease die from the infection. About 20% suffer severe complications, including brain damage, loss of limbs, or loss of hearing.

Early symptoms of meningitis are often confused with flu, but the infection can kill within hours of onset, the FDA says.

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