Advocating Meningococcal Vaccinations Against All Strains In The Evolving Landscape Of Respiratory Infections
Supporting and advocating for meningococcal vaccinations against all strains is crucial due to the serious nature and global burden of infections caused by N. meningitidis. The significance lies in several key aspects:
Diverse Strain Protection: There are multiple meningococcal serogroups, with A, B, C, W, Y, and X being responsible for the majority of diseases. Vaccines targeting all strains provide comprehensive protection against these different serogroups.
Prevention of Severe Disease: Meningococcal disease can cause severe health conditions like meningitis and septicemia. Vaccinations are the most effective way to prevent these aggressive diseases, which often leave little time for intervention once symptoms appear.
Decline in Disease Rates: Since the introduction of meningococcal vaccines, there has been a significant decline in the incidence of the disease. This suggests the effectiveness of the vaccines in providing protection.
Given the effectiveness of meningococcal vaccines and the severity of the diseases they prevent, it's vital to increase public awareness about the importance of vaccination against all strains. The recent surge of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV infections has influenced public focus and awareness of other infectious diseases, including meningitis. The heightened concern for respiratory viruses like COVID-19 and RSV, particularly during winter, has brought these diseases to the forefront of public health discussions and strategies. A resurgence of other viruses, including those causing meningitis, is possible under the current evolving landscape of respiratory infections.
Furthermore, the simultaneous occurrence of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV, often referred to as a "triple-demic," has put a strain on healthcare systems and shifted public health priorities towards managing these concurrent outbreaks. This situation necessitates a careful balance in public health messaging and resource allocation to ensure that other important vaccinations, such as those for meningococcal disease, continue to be emphasized.
Given these dynamics, healthcare professionals and public health authorities must maintain awareness and advocacy for vaccinations against all strains of meningitis while also addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19, influenza, and RSV. This approach will help ensure comprehensive protection against various infectious diseases, including meningococcal disease.
Members and Participating Organisations
Simon Kroll (Imperial College) ● Mirjam Knol (Center of Infectious Disease Control RIVM) ● Dace Zavadska (Children Clinical University Hospital, Riga) ● Francisco Gimenez-Sanchez (Balmis Institute of Vaccines) ● George Syrogiannopoulos (University of Thessaly) ● Nenad Miljković (European Association of Hospital Pharmacists) ● Catherine Weil Olivier (Paris VII University) ● Carlo Signorelli (University Vita-Salute San Raffaele of Milan) ● Elisabeth Sanders (Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) ● Hanna Noynek (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare) ● Elena Moya (Confederation of Meningitis Organizations) ● Vytautas Usonis (Vilnius University) ● Gertraud Daye (NGO Committee on Ageing, UN) ● Philippe de Wals (Laval University, Quebec, Canada) ● Irene Rivero-Calle (University Clinical Hospital of Santiago de Compostela) ● Daphne Holt (Coalition for Life-Course Immunisation) ● Tilen Kozole (European Pharmaceutical Students' Association) ● Radovan Bogdanovic (Paediatric Association of Serbia) ● Mira Kojouharova (National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Bulgaria) ● Kare Molbak (Statens Serum Institut, Denmark) ● Roman Prymula (Charles University, Prague) ● Marc Van Ranst (Rega Institute for Medical Research, Belgium) ● Roy Philip (University Maternity Hospital Limerick) ● Lieke Sanders (Institute of Public health and the Environment, Netherlands) ● Remesh Kumar (President of Indian Academy of Paediatrics IAP)
Action Plans and Reports
Based on all the work and collaboration between the Working Groups in the Expert mapping surveys and the Working Group Meetings organised each year, the reports include Observations, Challenges, Strategies and Suggested Campaigns/Actions for each barrier or observation. Working alongside partners and supporters, we will tackle as many areas as possible and conduct as many proposed actions to overcome barriers to vaccination uptake.