The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously voted to recommend that all HIV-infected persons aged 2 months and older receive the meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) vaccine.

Guidance for this recommendation states that persons 2 months and older with HIV who have not been vaccinated previously should receive a two-dose, primary series of MenACWY; and that HIV-infected persons who have been vaccinated previously with one dose of MenACWY should receive a second dose at the earliest opportunity, with an 8-week minimum interval between doses. After that, boosters are to be given at the appropriate intervals.

Committee members voted in favor of immunizing earlier rather than waiting until 11 years of age or older, in part because human complement (hSBA) antibody titers following up to two doses of MenACWY vaccine in HIV-infected children ages 2-10 years is higher than in those ages 11-24 years. Also, the agreed upon recommended policy for earlier immunization is in step with current ACIP recommendations for use of the vaccine in persons with functional/anatomic asplenia or complement component deficiencies.

Despite an overall decline in the risk of meningococcal disease in the United States, there was a 13-fold increased risk in HIV-infected persons aged 25-64 years between 2000 and 2008, according to surveillance data presented to ACIP by Ms. Jessica MacNeil, MPH, an epidemiologist at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC in Atlanta. A ten-fold increase in risk was recorded in New York City alone in this population between 2000 and 2011.

Although fatality data are mixed, the infections were due primarily to serogroups C, W, and Y, for which the immune response wanes rapidly, according to Ms. MacNeil.

There are no safety or immunogenicity data currently available for the use of serogroup B meningococcal vaccines in HIV-infected persons, she said.

ACIP members also unanimously recommended this vaccine be covered under the Vaccines for Children program.

No information about disclosures was available at press time.

On Twitter @whitneymcknight


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