MenA vaccine meets success in Africa
During the epidemic of 1996-97, over 250,000 people contracted MenA. Thanks to the vaccination campaign, MenA has virtually disappeared in sub-Saharan Africa.
In December 2010, the new vaccine, called MenAfriVac, was launched in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali. The vaccine resulted in a significant decrease of the virus and since then, there have been ongoing vaccination campaigns. By December 2014, over 217 million people in Africa had been immunized.
“This study shows that the vaccine has provided a high level of protection for the people of Burkina Faso,” Dr. Judith Mueller, leader of the vaccination campaign from EHESP School of Public Health in Paris, said. “However, we are continuing our [Malaria Research Foundation]-funded study in order to study how protection levels change over three and five years after vaccination. This will be important for determining the optimal vaccination strategy for long-term control of MenA meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa. Also, we will need to be attentive to other serogroups that may cause epidemic disease.”
The Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP) was the start of creating and licensing a MenA vaccine that would be affordable and available for mass immunization programs. MVP was the result of a partnership involving the World Health Organization (WHO) and PATH, an international health non-profit organization. The partnership received funds and sponsorship from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.