Infectious diseases and immunizationRecent trends in meningococcal epidemiology and current vaccine recommendationsBaltimore, Robert S. Author Information Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Correspondence to Robert S. Baltimore MD, Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine Box 208064 New Haven, CT 06520-8086, USA Tel: +1 203 785 4655, fax: +1 203 785 7194; E-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Pediatrics: February 2006 - Volume 18 - Issue 1 - p 58-63 doi: 10.1097/01.mop.0000193265.78506.7f Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review In 2005, a new meningococcal vaccine, tetravalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) was approved for use. This review discusses the population for whom it is recommended and the logic underlying these recommendations. Recent findings The older meningococcal vaccine, composed of capsular polysaccharide, had limited use in civilian populations. The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommend the routine vaccination of adolescents with MCV4. This recommendation is largely based on newer epidemiologic data showing a considerable risk of meningococcal disease in late adolescence, most of which is preventable with vaccine. Conclusion The new MCV4 vaccine should be used in primary-care practices for the immunization of all adolescents and high-risk children and adults. In the future, further studies are likely to show it to be safe and effective for younger children too. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.