New Meningococcal Vaccine for Pediatric Patients
This blog post is part of a series highlighting essential changes in the 2024 ACIP immunization schedules.
This series is written alongside Immunization Program Medical Specialist, Dr. Mayssa Abuali.
Dr. Abuali is board-certified in general pediatrics, pediatric infectious diseases, and pediatric hospital medicine. Dr. Abuali has served the Philadelphia pediatric community for the past 10 years. She served as the Director of the Einstein Pediatric Inpatient Service at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and as the Director of the Einstein Pediatric New Arrivals clinic.
A new meningococcal vaccine has been added to the 2024 childhood immunization schedule.
Penbraya contains five meningococcal serogroups (Groups A, B, C, W, and Y) and is approved for ages 10 years and up.
Currently, children must receive vaccination against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, and Y (MenACWY, Menveo, or MenQuadfi) at age 11 or 12 years with a booster at 16 years. Separate meningococcal B vaccines (MenB, Bexsero, or Trumenba) can be given to 16 – 23-year-olds before entering college, joining the military, or during outbreak situations.
Penbraya is an option for certain children and adolescents who need MenB and MenACWY vaccines at the same visit. This group may include:
- Adolescents aged 16-23 years due for their MenACWY booster and in need of MenB before entering college or other crowded living situations at the same visit.
- High-risk children aged 10 years and older with complement deficiency, functional or anatomic asplenia (including sickle cell disease), or receiving complement inhibitors.
- A second dose of Penbraya should be given 6 months after the first dose for those needing both MenB and MenACWY protection.
- If only MenB is needed, then Trumenba must be used for the second dose in 6 months as that is the MenB component present in Penbraya. Bexsero and Trumenba are not interchangeable.
Travel: Those traveling to the sub-Saharan Africa meningitis belt or for Hajj (Saudi Arabia) require MenACWY vaccination. MenB is currently not recommended for travel.
The current meningococcal vaccines are both safe and effective. According to pediatric infectious disease expert, Dr. Mayssa Abuali, “Protection does wane with time, so boosters are necessary in cases of continued risk.”
We will inform providers when this product is available to order through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program. Learn more about meningococcal vaccines.