Meningitis Vaccine Tolerates African Heat Without Refrigeration

A study published in the journal Vaccine shows that a vaccine against meningitis A can be successfully stored and delivered without refrigeration in Africa, news services report.

The Guardian: Meningitis vaccine withstands African heat without damage
“The first immunization campaign in Africa using a vaccine that does not have to be stored in fridges and iceboxes has been successful and substantially cut costs, according to scientists. MenAfriVac is authorized for use at temperatures not exceeding 40C and can be kept out of the fridge for up to four days. The vaccine against meningitis A was unusual in being designed specifically for the African meningitis belt, where annual epidemics used to kill thousands, but experts say it would be feasible to allow other vaccines to be used outside of cold-chain conditions…” (Boseley, 2/19).

Nature News: Vaccines endure African temperatures without damage
“An immunization campaign in West Africa has shown that vaccines can be delivered to remote areas without using ice boxes, and still remain viable. … The anti-meningitis campaign, carried out in Benin in December 2012 by the country’s health ministry and researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) and PATH, a non-profit body based in Seattle, Washington, tested delivering a vaccine against deadly meningococcal meningitis A that was stored at temperatures of up to 40 °C for up to four days. Its findings, published today in Vaccine, mark an unequivocal success, with only nine of the more than 15,000 vials needing to be discarded, none of them for heat damage…” (Butler, 2/19).

Meningitis Vaccine Project: Revolutionary meningitis vaccine breaks cold chain barrier, extends reach to remotest Africa
“The first mass vaccination campaign conducted in Africa with a vaccine that does not require constant refrigeration succeeded in providing complete coverage while ensuring the vaccine stayed viable even in ambient temperatures up to 39°C (102.2°F), according to a study published online today in the journal Vaccine…” (2/18).

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