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Meningitis A Vaccine Breaks Barrier; First to Gain Approval to Travel Outside Cold Chain

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Signaling a potential breakthrough for immunization programs in resource-poor countries, researchers have announced at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) conference that regulatory authorities -- after conducting a rigorous review of stability data -- will for the first time allow a vaccine in Africa to be transported and stored for as long as four days without refrigeration or even an icepack.

The meningitis A vaccine known as MenAfriVac®, created to meet the needs of Africa's meningitis belt, can now be kept in a controlled temperature chain (CTC) at temperatures of up to 40°C for up to four days, a decision that could help increase campaign efficiency and coverage and save funds normally spent maintaining the challenging cold chain during the "last mile" of vaccine delivery.

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