New Vaccinations for Bacterial Meningitis, Whooping Cough and Human Papilloma Virus To Target Teenagers
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday examined the expected introduction of three new vaccines -- to protect against bacterial meningitis, whooping cough and the human papilloma virus -- aimed at teenagers and the challenges in reaching that population. A CDC advisory committee last month recommended that about 12 million children, including 11 year olds who come in for an annual physical and those entering high school or college, receive a vaccination for bacterial meningitis.
The panel is expected to endorse recommendations that teenagers also be vaccinated for whooping cough. Sanofi-Aventis this month will begin distributing Menactra, its bacterial meningitis vaccine. In addition, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline currently are seeking approval from FDA for a whooping cough vaccine.
GSK's version, called Boosterix, could receive FDA approval as early as April 30, a company representative said. Adacel, Sanofi's whooping cough vaccine, could be on the market by this spring, according to FDA officials. Sanofi and GSK plan to incorporate the new whooping cough vaccine with tetanus and diphtheria vaccines. CDC officials said they recognize the potential difficulties in encouraging teenagers to receive the recommended vaccinations, as many teenagers do not receive annual physicals or visit a physician regularly, the Journal reports.
For instance, only 30% of teenagers receive recommended tetanus and diphtheria immunizations, according to the Journal. Officials predict that another challenge could be the cost of producing the vaccines. In addition, Walter Orenstein, former director of the CDC's National Immunization Program and an Emory University professor, said it is unclear how many insurance companies will cover the shots (McKay, Wall Street Journal, 3/8).