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Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine & Outbreaks

Three serogroups, or strains, of meningococcal bacteria (serogroups, B, C, and Y) circulate and cause disease in the United States. In certain outbreaks, vaccination against meningococcal disease is recommended to help stop the disease from spreading. However, until recently, there were no serogroup B meningococcal vaccines licensed for use in the United States.

On October 29, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed the first serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (Trumenba®). FDA approved this vaccine for use in people 10-25 years of age as a 3-dose series. On January 23, 2015, FDA licensed a second serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (Bexsero®). FDA approved this vaccine for use in people 10-25 years of age as a 2-dose series. While there is no routine recommendation for serogroup B meningococcal vaccines at this time, physicians can use these vaccines for people 10-25 years of age consistent with the labeled indication.

Based on CDC’s interim guidance, this vaccine can be an important tool for controlling outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease.

Historical Serogroup B Outbreaks

Princeton University, the New Jersey Department of Health, local health authorities, and CDC collaborated from spring 2013 through late 2014 to monitor and respond to an outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease. Eight confirmed cases and one outbreak-associated case in a Drexel University student were reported. More than 13,000 doses of a serogroup B vaccine were administered at Princeton University through an FDA investigational new drug application.

The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, the California Department of Public Health, and CDC collaborated in late 2013 through spring 2014 to monitor and respond to an outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease; four confirmed cases were reported and more than 17,000 UCSB students received a serogroup B vaccine through an FDA investigational new drug application.

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