Rollout of Men5CV vaccine in Nigeria

News Excerpt: 

Nigeria has become the first country in the world to roll out a new vaccine (called Men5CV) recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which protects people against five strains of the meningococcus bacteria. 

About the news:

  • The new vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, Y, and X) in a single shot. This provides broader protection than the current vaccine used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.
  • The vaccine and emergency vaccination activities are funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which funds the global meningitis vaccine stockpile and supports lower-income countries with routine vaccination against meningitis. 
  • This new multivalent conjugate vaccine was 13 years in the making and was based on a partnership between PATH and the Serum Institute of India.  
  • Nigeria is one of the 26 meningitis hyper-endemic countries of Africa, situated in the area known as the African Meningitis Belt.

  • Nigeria’s rollout moves the world one step closer to WHO's goal of defeating meningitis by 2030.

About Meningitis:

  • Meningitis is a serious infection that leads to the inflammation of the membranes (meninges) that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
  • There are multiple causes of meningitis, including viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic pathogens. 
  • Bacterial meningitis is the most serious among the five.  
  • Although meningitis affects all ages, young children are most at risk with around half of cases and deaths occurring in children under 5 years of age.

The Global Roadmap to Defeating Meningitis:

  • Because meningitis has so many causes, it cannot be eliminated or eradicated. This plan, therefore, aims to defeat meningitis as a public health threat, reducing the number of cases substantially and keeping them down. 
  • In 2019, WHO and partners launched the global roadmap to defeating meningitis by 2030.  

  • The roadmap sets a comprehensive vision toward a world free of meningitis, and has three goals:
    • Eliminate bacterial meningitis epidemics.
    • Reduce cases of vaccine-preventable bacterial meningitis by 50% and deaths by 70%.
    • Reduce disability and improve quality of life after meningitis due to any cause.

These visionary goals are fully aligned with universal health coverage and have equity as a guiding principle.

About GAVI:

  • GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) was set up as a Global Health Partnership in 2000 to create equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. 
  • It aims at accelerating access to vaccines, strengthening countries’ health and immunization systems, and introducing innovative new immunization technology. 
  • The GAVI’s current development model is to work together with countries in scaling up domestically funded immunization efforts. As countries develop economically, GAVI requires them to take on more of the costs until they ‘transition’ fully out of GAVI support.

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