Nigeria Becomes First Country to Introduce new 5-in-1 Vaccine against Meningitis

Nigeria has become the first country in the world to roll out a new vaccine (known as Men5CV), which protects people against five strains of the meningococcus bacteria.

Recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the vaccine and emergency vaccination activities are funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which funds the global meningitis vaccine stockpile, and supports lower-income countries with routine vaccination against meningitis.

Nigeria is one of the 26 meningitis hyper-endemic countries of Africa, situated in the area known as the African Meningitis Belt. Last year, there was a 50% jump in annual meningitis cases reported across Africa.

Reacting to the development on his X (formerly Twitter) account, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks, saving many lives, and bringing us closer to our goal to eliminate meningitis by 2030.”

According to WHO, the revolutionary new vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, Y and X) in a single shot. All five strains cause meningitis and blood poisoning. This provides broader protection than the current vaccine used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.

The global body added that the new vaccine has the potential to significantly reduce meningitis cases and advance progress in defeating meningitis.


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