Africa

Revolutionary Meningitis Vaccine Sparks Historic Breakthrough in Nigeria!

Nigeria has become the first country to roll out a “revolutionary” five-in-one vaccine against meningitis, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement on Friday.  

The Men5CV vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria – A, C, W, Y and X – which cause the disease. 

Known by the brand name MenFive, it provides broader protection than the vaccine currently used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain. 

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Defeating a ‘deadly foe’ 

Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General.  

The rollout in Nigeria represents one step closer towards the goal of total elimination by 2030, he added. 

Meningitis is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord and can be fatal. Symptoms often include headache, fever and stiff neck. 

There are multiple causes, including viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic pathogens. The most serious – bacterial meningitis – can also result in blood poisoning and can seriously disable or kill within 24 hours after being contracted.   

Vaccination campaign 

Nigeria is among the 26 meningitis hyper-endemic countries of Africa, an area known as the African Meningitis Belt.  

WHO said 153 people died in an outbreak in Nigeria between 1 October 2023 and 11 March of this year. A vaccination campaign was launched in late March to reach more than a million people aged 29 and under. 

“Northern Nigeria, particularly the states of Jigawa, Bauchi and Yobe were badly hit by the deadly outbreak of meningitis, and this vaccine provides health workers with a new tool to both stop this outbreak but also put the country on a path to elimination,” said Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate of the Nigerian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. 

WHO said the new vaccine has the potential to significantly reduce meningitis cases and advance progress in defeating the disease, which is especially important for countries like Nigeria where multiple serogroups are prevalent.  

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11 Comments

  1. It’s great to see that Nigeria is leading the way in fighting meningitis with this new vaccine. This breakthrough could truly save countless lives and make a significant impact on public health. Kudos to the efforts of the WHO and all involved in making this happen!

  2. As a healthcare professional, I am thrilled by this news! Nigeria’s proactive approach in implementing the MenFive vaccine sets a remarkable example for other countries. The potential of this vaccine to prevent future meningitis outbreaks and save lives is truly groundbreaking. Kudos to Nigeria and all involved in this historic initiative!

  3. Wow, this is incredible news! Will this new vaccine be accessible to other countries soon as well?

    1. Yes, this breakthrough in Nigeria is a significant step towards global eradication of meningitis. The success of the Men5CV vaccine in Nigeria paves the way for its potential availability in other countries, bringing hope for enhanced protection against this deadly disease.

  4. What are the side effects of the Men5CV vaccine against meningitis? Is it suitable for all age groups?

    1. The Men5CV vaccine has been well-tolerated in clinical trials, with common side effects including mild fever, headache, and injection site redness. It is generally safe for all age groups, but specific recommendations may vary depending on individual health conditions. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

  5. Defeating a ‘deadly foe’ “Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General. The rollout in Nigeria represents one step closer towards the goal of total elimination by 2030, he added. Meningitis is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord and can be fatal. Symptoms often include headache, fever, and stiff neck. There are multiple causes, including viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic pathogens. The most serious – bacterial meningitis – can also result in blood poisoning and can seriously disable or kill within 24 hours.

  6. Wow, what a groundbreaking achievement for Nigeria! This new vaccine sounds like a game-changer in the fight against meningitis. Hopefully, more countries will follow suit and prioritize such innovative solutions for public health.

  7. Wow, this is such a breakthrough! Will this vaccine be accessible to other African countries soon?

    1. Yes, Susan_1985, this groundbreaking vaccine is a game-changer! Plans are underway to make it accessible to other African countries in the near future, marking a significant advancement in combating meningitis across the continent.

  8. Revolutionary breakthrough indeed! The Men5CV vaccine’s comprehensive protection against multiple meningitis strains is a game-changer in healthcare. Let’s hope this marks the beginning of the end for this deadly disease.

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