The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC), recently recommended the meningococcal group B vaccines as Category A, meaning that physicians and patients must make individual choices about the vaccine.
The new meningitis B vaccine, called BEXSERO, was originally considered as a requirement for people between the ages of 16 and 23. Instead, the CDC chose to place the new vaccine in category A, leaving it to individual choice to receive the vaccine.
In January, BEXSERO received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an accelerated approval pathway to be administered to people between ages 10 and 25. In March, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) acquired the vaccine after closing a three-part transaction with the original producer of the vaccine, Novartis.
"GSK welcomes this vote as an important step forward to help protect against meningococcal disease in the U.S.," Patrick Desbiens, senior vice president of U.S. vaccines for GSK, said. "Meningococcal disease is fast-moving, unpredictable and can cause irreversible damage, so vaccination is the best tool to help prevent it. Today's vote is the latest milestone on a 20-year journey to develop a vaccine in order to help protect individuals from this devastating condition."