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Invasive meningococcal infections: what are the new HAS vaccine recommendations?

  • March 28, 2024
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THE meningococci are bacteria found exclusively in humans and which can cause serious transmissible infections, such as meningitis or septicemia. Ces invasive meningococcal infections are associated with significant morbidity and mortality, which is why their incidence is closely monitored by health authorities. Indeed, Santé Publique France recalls that the lethality of invasive meningococcal infections is between 10 and 12%, and mainly affects infants, young children, or young adults between 15 and 24 years old. Among the twelve existing meningococcal serogroups, strains A, B, C, Y and W are responsible for the majority of invasive meningococcal infections.

If the number of invasive meningococcal infections fell in 2020 and 2021 in France, in particular thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and the implementation barrier gestures, health authorities have reported a resumption of the increase in the circulation of meningococci. Indeed, the transmission of meningococci occurs through nasopharyngeal secretions, through close and repeated contact. In a bulletin, Santé Publique France counted 560 cases in 2023, with an increase of 72% compared to the previous year.

Invasive meningococcal infections: HAS updates its vaccination recommendations

To react to this situation, the Ministry of Health contacted the High Authority of Health (HAS) to update the vaccination strategy against meningococci A, B, C, W, Y and B, with the aim of protect the entire population, and more particularly infants, adolescents and young adults. In a statement published on March 27, 2024, HAS has delivered its new vaccine recommendations concerning meningococci.

Vaccination against meningococci A, C, W and Y

Concerning serogroups A, C, W and Ythe High Authority of Health recommends make vaccination compulsory in all infants less than a year old, replacing that directed only against serogroup C, according to a two-dose schedule. HAS also recommends for adolescents vaccination following a single-dose schedule administered between 11 and 14 years of agewhether they have already been vaccinated or not, and catch-up vaccination for 15-24 year olds.

Meningococcal B vaccination

Concerning serogroup Bthe HAS recommends make vaccination compulsory for infants under one year old. The High Authority of Health recalls that serogroup B is the majority among cases of meningococcal meningitis in young children, which is why it encourages the strengthening of vaccination, in order to increase vaccination coverage which was 48.8% in 2022. Nevertheless, the HAS is not currently considering extending meningococcal B vaccination to all adolescents and young adultsbecause its incidence is lower in them than in infants and the vaccine has not shown effectiveness in granting indirect protection to unvaccinated populations.

#Vaccination against meningococci | Consult the recommendations 👉https://t.co/uNKUtqzvqI
At a glance 👇 pic.twitter.com/WMFgX8vPke

— High Health Authority (@HAS_sante) March 27, 2024

Sources :

  • Invasive meningococcal infections: updated vaccine recommendations – Haute Autorité de Santé – March 27, 2024
  • Invasive meningococcal infections in France in 2023 – Santé Publique France – March 26, 2024
  • Invasive meningococcal infections – Public Health France
author avatar
Emilie Biechy-Tournade