Adolescents given meningococcal vaccines have experienced a wide variety of serious adverse events, including new autoimmune conditions and death.
Post-licensure safety surveillance study of routine use of quadrivalent meningococcal diphtheria toxoid conjugate vaccine
Hansen J, Zhang L, Klein NP, et al. Vaccine 2017;35(49 Pt B):6879-84.
Adolescents receiving the Menactra® meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY-D) in 2005-2006 experienced a variety of adverse events in the six months following vaccination—including death—but the researchers (one of whom was affilated with the vaccine’s manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur) concluded that only two diagnoses (diabetes and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) were “possibly related to vaccination.” After comparing 31,000 Kaiser Permanente patients who received the MenACWY-D vaccine to 31,000 matched teens who had received a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) or hepatitis vaccine the previous year, the researchers assessed 1660 outcomes and determined that 1.3% were “significantly elevated” in the meningococcal group. There were two deaths in vaccinees with cancer (“with onset preceding vaccination”) following MenACWY-D vaccination as well as a third cardiac-related death; there was also one fetal death in a young woman who received Menactra® during pregnancy. Many of the adverse events, including difficulty breathing, occurred two or more months following vaccination.