Pfizer’s new meningitis B vaccine Trumenba is now available in the UK for teens and young adults providing an additional option for vaccination against the disease.

The jab can be used for active immunisation of individuals 10 years and older to prevent invasive meningococcal disease caused by meningococcal group B bacteria (Men B).

Meningococcal disease can lead to death within 24 hours. Despite available treatment with antibiotics, 10 to 15 percent of people with meningococcal disease will die, highlighting the severity of the disease.

Adolescents and young adults are a key demographic for vaccination against MenB because of environmental and social risk factors such as close-quartered living and sharing behaviours.

Of those adolescents who do show symptoms and survive the illness, three in five experience significant physical and mental disabilities.

"Recognised as the most common form of meningococcal disease in the UK, Men B is most prevalent amongst babies and young children followed by teenagers. The licensing of Trumenba, marks another victory in our battle against meningitis and it takes us another step closer to fulfilling our mission where no one in the UK dies from the disease,” said Dr Tom Nutt, chief executive of leading UK charity Meningitis Now.

The vaccine is currently only available privately but Dr Harish Madhava, medical director of Pfizer Vaccines UK, stressed that the firm will be working with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the Department of Health “to discuss greater access to the vaccine in the future via the National Immunisation Programme”.

The vaccine was approved in Europe in May after clinical trials involving more than 20,000 adolescents and adults, showed that it induced protective serum bactericidal antibody responses to diverse MenB test strains, and exhibited an acceptable safety profile, the most common adverse events being injection site pain, redness and swelling, headache, fatigue, chills, diarrhoea, muscle pain, joint pain and nausea.