ACIP Recommends HibMenCY for Infants at Increased Risk for Meningococcal Disease

The CDC's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted today 13-1, with one abstention, to recommend that infants at increased risk for meningococcal disease should be vaccinated with four doses of HibMenCY at 2, 4, 6, and 12 through 15 months. These include infants with recognized persistent complement pathway deficiencies and infants who have anatomic or functional asplenia including sickle cell disease. HibMenCY can be used in infants ages 2 through 18 months who are in communities with serogroup C and Y meningococcal disease outbreaks.

Meningococcal disease is a serious, vaccine-preventable bacterial infection caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. The two most severe common illnesses caused by these bacteria include meningitis and bloodstream infections. Infants with certain medical conditions, such as sickle cell disease or complement component deficiency, are at increased risk for meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal disease incidence has declined to historically low levels since the last peak in disease in the late 1990s. About 50 of infant cases are potentially preventable by available vaccines. The majority of infant cases are caused by a type of the bacteria that are not prevented by meningococcal vaccines. Also, the majority of infant cases occur within the first six months of life, before a vaccine would likely be able to protect since three doses are needed (at 2, 4 and 6 months) to maximize the immune response.