Clinical efficacy of meningococcus group A capsular polysaccharide vaccine in children three months to five years of age

N Engl J Med. 1977 Sep 29;297(13):686-91. doi: 10.1056/NEJM197709292971302.


We performed field trials in the course of an epidemic in Finland to learn whether Group A memingococcal capsular polysaccharide vaccine protects infants and young children from meningitis. The first trial involved 130,178 children between the ages of three months and five years; 49,295 children received the vaccine, 48,977 received a control Haemophilus influenzae Type b polysaccharide vaccine, and 31.906 remained unvaccinated. No cases of meningitis or sepsis caused by Group A meningococci were seen in the first year of observation among the children vaccinated with meningococcal vaccine whereas six occurred among those vaccinated with the H. influenzae vaccine and 13 among those not vaccinated. In the second trial 21,007 children of the same ages received the meningococcal vaccine. No cases caused by Group A occurred among those vaccinated, although five to seven would have been expected within the year. Meningococcal Group A vaccine appears efficacious in young infants and children.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Bacterial Vaccines* / adverse effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Finland
  • Haemophilus influenzae / immunology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Meningitis, Meningococcal / epidemiology
  • Meningitis, Meningococcal / prevention & control*
  • Neisseria meningitidis / immunology*
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Vaccination / adverse effects


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial