TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Meningitis Research Foundation applauds vaccine applications

The United Kingdom-based Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) expressed its approval on Thursday of recent applications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for meningitis B vaccine licensing.

MRF CEO Christopher Head said that the applications made by Novartis and Pfizer help to advance the organization's objectives.

"We welcome the news of these men B vaccine license applications in the U.S.," Head said. "Meningitis Research Foundation's vision is of a world free from meningitis and septicaemia and we believe that vaccination is the way to reach our ultimate goal. In the U.K, we are eagerly awaiting introduction of men B vaccine into the childhood immunization program and it is encouraging to see this latest progress on protecting Americans against this deadly disease."

Both Novartis and Pfizer applied for licensing of their meningitis B vaccines on Tuesday.

Current vaccines available in the U.S. protect against four of the other known strains of meningococcal disease.

Early meningitis symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck and sensitivity to light. While most patients recover, the illness can cause brain damage, hearing loss or learning disabilities.

Although adolescents and young adults are at increased risk of catching the disease, meningitis affects people of all ages.