US Pharm. 2015;40(4):HS-24.

Young children who received the serogroup B meningococcal (4CMenB) vaccine as infants to protect against serogroup B meningococcal disease had waning immunity by age 5 years, even after receiving a booster at age 3.5 years, according to new research in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Infants and children under the age of 5 years are especially at risk for serogroup B meningococcal disease, the leading cause of meningitis and blood infections in developed countries, and there is a second peak of cases in the late teenage years.

The study, by researchers from England’s Oxford University and Novartis, looked at antibody levels against eight strains of serogroup B meningococcus in 5-year-old children who had been vaccinated with the 4CMenB vaccine in early childhood and received their last dose 20 months earlier. They found that of children who had received the vaccine at ages 2, 4, 6, 12, and 40 months, 44% to 88% still had protective antibody titres. For children vaccinated later (at ages 40 and 42 months), the percentage with protective antibody titres 20 months after their last dose ranged from 31% to 100%.