Home » Equal opportunities thanks to STIKO recommendation for meningococcal B vaccination

Equal opportunities thanks to STIKO recommendation for meningococcal B vaccination

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Equal opportunities thanks to STIKO recommendation for meningococcal B vaccination

19.01.2024 – 11:18

GlaxoSmithKline GmbH & Co. KG

Munich (ots)

Early protection prevents serious illness STIKO recommendation contributes to the WHO action plan against meningitis Private health insurers will now cover the costs, statutory health insurance companies will reimburse voluntarily

The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) has included vaccination against meningococcal B (Men B) in the standard vaccination program for all infants.[i] The official process now follows until it is included in the vaccination guidelines, which means that vaccination becomes a general mandatory service for all statutory health insurance companies. Now all infants and small children in Germany can benefit from the vaccination, regardless of where they live or whether they have health insurance. This means there is equal opportunity for all infants and small children in Germany.

Until now, only the vaccination against meningococcal C for children aged 12 months and over was included as a standard vaccination in the STIKO vaccination calendar. To protect infants and young children from very rare but potentially life-threatening meningococcal infections, there are different vaccinations against the different meningococcal serogroups. For the best possible, comprehensive protection, the meningococcal B vaccination is now recommended as standard.

Early protection prevents serious illness

Infants and young children are particularly susceptible to infections due to their immature immune systems. The peak incidence for Men B is in the first months of life.[ii] “We should not wait until the Men B vaccination is anchored in the vaccination guidelines before vaccinating. That would waste valuable time,” appeals pediatrician Dr. Christof Metzler, Langenargen. “Anyone who has experienced a case in their own practice will never forget it.” The STIKO takes into account the severity of the disease, the epidemiology in Germany and the extensive application data for the Men-B vaccine, which has been available for ten years, in its recommendation.[iii] An STIKO recommendation therefore provides security when vaccinating.

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At 62 percent, B meningococci are currently responsible for most invasive meningococcal diseases (IME) in Germany.2 Despite treatment with antibiotics, complications and long-term effects occur in 20 percent of patients*,[iv] such as seizure disorders, blindness and hearing loss or the loss of limbs due to amputation. An IME can cause death within 24 to 48 hours after the first symptoms appear.[v]

The effectiveness and tolerability of the vaccination have been proven by clinical studies and data from practical use.3 For early protection against the rare but serious disease, three doses of vaccine at the ages of 2, 4 and 12 months are recommended,1 as the burden of the disease is increased by men B is highest in the first two years of life. The recommendation includes catch-up vaccinations up to the fifth birthday.1

Integration into the vaccination calendar is easily possible; simultaneous administration with the other standard vaccinations for infants is possible. “The simultaneous administration of several vaccinations can be easily integrated into everyday practice and does not affect the immune response,” explains Dr. Anette Kühnle, specialist in pediatric and adolescent medicine from Monheim am Rhein. “In Germany, the severity of invasive meningococcal disease is underestimated.[vi] This is also why it is so important that doctors make a clear recommendation for early Men-B vaccination,” said Kühnle. The Men-B vaccination is already part of many European national vaccination programs, which underlines its importance. Over 80 million have been vaccinated worldwide Doses of GSK’s meningococcal B vaccine administered.

The official process now follows until it is included in the vaccination guidelines, which means that vaccination becomes a general mandatory service for all statutory health insurance companies. Private health insurance companies usually cover the costs immediately. Nothing will initially change for those with statutory health insurance; many health insurance companies reimburse on a voluntary basis. Therefore, until further notice, a private prescription and proactive inquiries by parents from the health insurance company are necessary for individual reimbursement.

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STIKO recommendation contributes to the WHO action plan

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) action plan to combat meningitis aims to reduce this disease as much as possible by 2030. With the STIKO recommendation for the Men B vaccination, Germany is now making an important contribution to achieving the WHO’s goals.

credentials

[i] Epidemiologisches Bulletin 3/2024 (rki.de)

[ii] RKI: SurvStat@RKI 2.0, Epidemiological Yearbook 2020, Invasive Meningococcal Diseases with information on the serogroup according to the reference definition; Reporting obligation according to IfSG

[iii] Bexsero specialist information, September 2022. Available at:

[iv] German Green Cross: “Frequently asked questions and answers about meningococcal diseases”. Available under:

[v] WHO: “Fact Sheet Meningococcal meningitis”. Verfügbar unter:

[vi] Ipsos Survey – Parent Willingness to Vaccinate – Men B – July 2021; Total number of respondents: 3,416 / of which from Germany: 502

NP-DE-MNU-PRSR-230031; 01/2

About GSK

GSK is a global biopharmaceutical company that combines science, technology and talent to get ahead of diseases together. Further information at: www.de.gsk.com.

Press contact:

Dr. Anke Helten (Senior PR-Manager Impfstoffe / Communications, Government Affairs & Market Access)
Phone: +49 163 360 54 90
E-Mail: [email protected]

Dr. Monika Düngenheim (agency contact)
Phone: 0221/9257 3840
E-Mail: [email protected]

Original content from: GlaxoSmithKline GmbH & Co. KG, transmitted by news aktuell

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