A ProMED-mail post
Archive Number: 20121118.1414639
Date: Fri 16 Nov 2012
Source: Terra [in Spanish, transl. Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ, edited]
The Ministry of Health has issued a “health alert” to address the cases of meningitis, which this year  have exceeded estimates by experts and authorities.
In his daily report on the situation of meningitis in the country, the undersecretary of public health indicated that the health alert was published today [16 Nov 2012] in the Official Journal, facilitating the necessary actions for vaccination, such as obtaining financial resources and streamlining procurement processes, among others.
Regarding the surveillance of cases, Diaz said that no new cases of infection with [_Neisseria meningitidis_] serogroup W135 had been reported. The cumulative number of people afflicted with this variant of the disease is 46, 37 of which are in the [Santiago] Metropolitan Region.
As for the prevention plan in the Metropolitan Region, the [health] authority said they have vaccinated 68 027 minors, corresponding to 17 per cent of the target population to be immunized in the 8 districts in which the campaign is being implemented to date.
Regarding the lack of vaccines in some clinics and preschool education centers in the Metropolitan Region, the health authority said that the doses needed are available and that it has instructed municipalities to redistribute the vaccines from the overstocked centers to those that are understocked.
Jorge Diaz said they are investigating a possible case of adverse reaction to the vaccine yesterday in a girl who today shows no complications. He also reported that more than 200 000 doses of vaccine will arrive Saturday morning [17 Nov 2012] via the Santiago international airport, which will allow for vaccination in all communes of the Metropolitan Region.
— communicated by: ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts <email@example.com>
[According to the most recent news report posted by ProMED-mail (Meningitis, meningococcal – Chile (03): (VS, RM) update 20121110.1403844), there were a total of 98 cases of meningococcal meningitis. The outbreak is centered mainly in 2 Chilean regions: the Metropolitan Region (RM), which includes Santiago, and the region of Valparaiso. _Neisseria meningitidis_ serogroup W135 predominates in the Metropolitan Region, where the vaccination program is ongoing; and serogroup B predominates in Valparaiso.
While effective capsular polysaccharides-based vaccines exist against serogroups A, C, W135, and Y, no similar vaccine is available against disease caused by serogroup B strains. The serogroup B capsular polysaccharide is poorly immunogenic presumably because serogroup B polysaccharide resembles the human neural cell adhesion molecule. A new protein-based, 4-component meningococcal serogroup B (4CMenB) vaccine has been developed that is hoped will be a broad-spectrum B vaccine (Cohn AC, Messonnier ME. Inching Toward a Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine for Infants. JAMA 2012;307(6):614-615.; and Stephens DS. Comment. Prevention of serogroup B meningococcal disease. Lancet 2012;379(9816):592-594).