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‘Nigeria first country to receive new meningitis vaccine’

 Nigeria has become the first country to receive the new MenFive meningitis vaccine from the Gavi-funded global stockpile, with a shipment delivered by UNICEF arriving…

 Nigeria has become the first country to receive the new MenFive meningitis vaccine from the Gavi-funded global stockpile, with a shipment delivered by UNICEF arriving last evening.

A statement from Gavi, said doses would be used to respond to an on-going meningococcus C outbreak, targeting to vaccinate around a million children in six local government areas in Jigawa State: Babura, Birniwa, Gagarawa, Gumel, Maigatari, and Sule Tankarkar.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance funds the global stockpiles of vaccines against cholera, Ebola, meningitis and yellow fever, and supports outbreak response campaigns in lower-income countries.

 Country requests to these stockpiles are managed by the World Health Organisation’s International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision. The ICG has approved the deployment of 1,043,377 doses of MenFive in response to Nigeria’s request.

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The MenFive vaccine, developed through a 13-year collaboration between PATH and Serum Institute of India, with support from the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, received WHO prequalification in July 2023.

The vaccine protects against the five main serogroups of meningococcal meningitis impacting Africa – meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, Y, and X. It is the only vaccine that protects against serogroup X.

Dr Tokunbo Oshin, Director of High Impact Countries at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance said, “With outbreaks of infectious diseases on the rise worldwide, new innovations such as MenFive are critical in helping us fight back. Thanks to vaccines, we have eliminated large and disruptive outbreaks of meningitis A in Africa: now we have a tool to respond to other meningococcal meningitis serogroups that still cause large outbreaks resulting in long-term disability and deaths.”

Oshin said Gavi would be working closely with the Nigerian government as well as our partners such as UNICEF and WHO to support the response to the outbreak.

The statement said the first shipment signals the start of Gavi support for a multivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MMCV) program, which will see the MenFive vaccine rolled out through outbreak response, routine immunization, and catch-up campaigns in high-risk countries.

Gavi has over the years worked with countries to support vaccination against meningitis A, reaching nearly 400 million children through campaigns and routine immunisation.

 

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