The World Health Organisation (WHO) has prequalified MenFive, the first conjugate vaccine to provide protection against the five most common types of meningococcal meningitis in Africa, according to Serum Institute of India (SII), a leader in vaccine production. MenFive, a meningococcal serogroup A, C, W, Y, and X vaccine, was created through a 13-year partnership between SII and PATH with critical funding from the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. It is intended to end annual meningitis outbreaks and epidemics in the African meningitis belt, a chain of 26 nations stretching from Senegal and The Gambia in the west to Ethiopia in the east. Additionally, it is the only vaccination that guards against meningitis brought on by meningococcal group X, a disease that has been linked to more and more meningitis epidemics in Africa.
Extensive clinical studies in The Gambia, India, and Mali that showed a high level of safety and immunogenicity supported WHO prequalification, which assures a vaccine fulfils stringent international quality, safety, and efficacy requirements. Prequalification is significant since it enables Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance and United Nations agencies to purchase MenFive. “MenFive is a game-changing vaccine developed through a powerful 13-year collaboration between SII, PATH, and essential support from the UK government, in the fight against meningococcal meningitis in Africa,” stated Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India. MenFive gives hope for a future free from yearly outbreaks and epidemics in the African meningitis belt as it is the first conjugate vaccine to protect against the five main causes of this fatal disease. It’s a significant occasion as we work together to create a healthier Africa and save countless lives.
“MenFive is a much-needed medical procedure that will be sold for a very reasonable price. With MenFive, SII will continue to uphold its guiding principle of ensuring that vaccines are accessible to people who need them most, according to Dr. Rajeev Dhere, executive director of SII. “This groundbreaking scientific discovery will have a significant impact on enhancing public health. A new, inexpensive vaccination will save lives, reduce chronic illness, and bring us one step closer to eradicating meningitis by 2030. According to UK International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell, “I am immensely happy that the UK has assisted PATH and the Serum Institute of India in this significant achievement.