Vaccine Info

Bexsero Meningitis B Vaccine

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Last reviewed
July 10, 2024
Fact checked by
Robert Carlson, MD

Bexsero® (MenB-4C) Meningitis B Vaccine Clinical Trials, Dosage, Efficacy, Side Effects

GSK's Bexsero® (MenB-4C) vaccine contains proteins from group B Neisseria meningitidis bacteria chosen to protect people against most MenB strains. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially approved (BL 125546) Bexsero (Meningococcal Group B Vaccine) for intramuscular injection in 2015. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued authorization EMEA/H/C/002333 in 2013, and the United Kingdom. The approval of Bexsero was based on the demonstration of the immune response, as measured by serum bactericidal activity against three serogroup B strains representative of prevalent strains.   

Bexsero is FDA-approved for 10- through 25-year-olds, two doses, four weeks apart, to prevent meningococcal group B disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination schedule was posted in 2024. According to the CDC, different meningococcal vaccines protect people against serogroups A, C, W, and Y. In addition, GSK's vaccination schedule was updated in 2023. CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends routine vaccination with a quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) for adolescents aged 11 or 12, with a booster dose at age 16. People between the ages of 16 and 23 can receive the Bexsero vaccine in the U.S. based on "shared clinical decision-making."

GSK announced in the first quarter of 2024 that sales for Bexsero were stable at AER and increased by 3% at CER in the quarter, primarily reflecting increased demand in Australia and the recent launch in Vietnam. The global meningococcal vaccines market size is expected to reach USD 4.92 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 6.2%.

GSK, based in the U.K., is the producer of Bexsero. DrugBank Accession Number: DB10786. STN: BL 125546. BL 125546/824. ATC code: J07AH09. The FDA removed Warnings and Precautions, Latex (5.3), from the Package Insert on April 26, 2023.

Bexsero Vaccine Indication

Bexsero is an FDA-approved vaccine to prevent invasive diseases caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B. As the expression of antigens included in the vaccine is epidemiologically variable in circulating B strains, meningococci that express them at sufficient levels are predicted to be susceptible to killing by vaccine-elicited antibodies. Effectiveness against various other group B strains has not been confirmed. Approximately 10% of individuals carry N. meningitidis asymptomatically in their nasopharynx, and close contact, such as coughing or kissing, is typically required for the bacteria to spread from person to person.

Bexsero Vaccine Prevents Gonorrhea

Real-world evidence revealed that the MenB vaccine Bexsero provides cross-protection against gonorrhea. On July 8, 2024, the Journal of Infection published results from a systematic review and meta-analysis. Adjusted VE for OMV vaccines against gonorrhea ranged from 22% to 46%. The pooled VE estimates of OMV vaccines against any gonorrhea infection following the full vaccine series were 33-34%. The study authors concluded that 4CMenB and other MenB-OMV vaccines show moderate effectiveness against gonorrhea.

On November 10, 2023, the U.K.'s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended a routine targeted vaccination program using the 4CMenB (Bexsero®) to prevent gonorrhea. Receiving two doses of Bexsero, which includes an OMV component, is estimated to reduce the chances of getting gonorrhea by 33%. The 4CMenB vaccine is reported to have efficacy against gonorrhea in 2017 and 2023. In October 2023, Jodie A. Dionne, MD, MSPH, associate professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, stated they had enrolled more than 1,500 participants in a Bexsero National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases sponsored phase 2 clinical trial. In addition, study results published on July 22, 2023, were consistent with other study findings that OMV-based vaccines may offer protection against gonorrhea. A study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases on June 1, 2022, suggests that a meningococcal serogroup B vaccine may cross-protect against gonorrhea infection. The DOXYVAC phase 3 clinical study added the 4CMenB (Bexsero) vaccine since gonorrhea and meningitis B organisms are of the Neisseria genus. On April 12, 2022, an observational cohort and case-control study from South Australia found that Bexsero also provides moderate cross-protection against gonorrhea after receiving two doses of Bexsero and is estimated to reduce the chances of getting gonorrhea by 33%. A Retrospective Cohort Study published in 2019 suggested vaccination with MeNZB™ significantly reduced the hospitalization rate from gonorrhea. This study supports prior research indicating possible cross-protection of this vaccine against gonorrhea acquisition and disease in the outpatient setting.

Bexsero Vaccine Dosage

Bexsero is for intramuscular use only. The recommended immunization series consists of four doses. The primary infant series consists of three doses at 2, 4, and 6 months, followed by a fourth dose (booster). The primary series can also be given at 2, 3, and 4 months of age, but the immune response to the NHBA antigen is lower.

Bexsero Vaccine Ingredients

Apart from active ingredients, the vaccine contains minimal amounts of aluminum, which strengthens and lengthens the immune response to the vaccine, salt (sodium chloride), sugar (sucrose), and an amino acid called histidine, both of which are h used as acidity regulators.

Bexsero Side Effects

Bexsro is contraindicated in cases of hypersensitivity, including severe allergic reactions, to any vaccine component after a previous dose of BEXSERO. The most common side effects of BEXSERO are pain, redness or hardness at the injection site, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, and nausea. Anyone allergic to these ingredients or severely allergic after a previous dose should not receive BEXSERO. Fainting can occur after receiving BEXSERO. For this reason, your healthcare professional may ask you to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after receiving BEXSERO.

Bexsero Immunocompromised

Individuals with certain complement deficiencies and individuals receiving treatment that inhibits terminal complement activation (for example, eculizumab) are at increased risk for invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis group B, even after being vaccinated with BEXSERO. Some individuals with weakened immune systems may have reduced immune responses to BEXSERO.

Bexsero FAQs

Bexsero publishes answers to meningitis questions.

Bexsero Vaccine News

January 5, 2024 - Meningitis B vaccines are being offered to all Prince Edward Island, Canada post-secondary students. The province health department expanded access after new cases were diagnosed in Ontario. "University-aged students are at a higher risk of invasive meningococcal disease," Chief Public Health Office Dr. Heather Morrison informed CBC News.

August 4, 2023 - GSK is developing a pentavalent vaccine, a combination including Bexsero.

March 14, 2023 - GSK's MenABCWY combination vaccine candidate met all 11 primary endpoints of the pivotal phase III clinical trial and was well tolerated with a safety profile consistent with Bexsero.

April 19, 2022 - The BMJ published an article: Meningitis vaccine could protect against gonorrhea, studies find.

April 12, 2022 - The Lancet published a study that concluded complete vaccination with the four-component meningococcal serogroup B vaccine (Bexsero) provided 40% protection against gonorrhea infection compared with no immunization (adjusted prevalence ratio 0.60, 95% CI 0.47-0.77, P<0.0001). This finding indicates that the MenB-4C vaccine could offer cross-protection against Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

October 12, 2017 - The FDA issued STN: BL 125546/189 to GSK.

January 23, 2015 - FDA Clinical Review date.

Bexsero Meningitis B Vaccine Clinical Trials

Bexsero Meningitis B Vaccine Has been tested in over 80 clinical studies.

On February 2, 2023, the NEJM published an Original Article: Effectiveness of a Meningococcal Group B Vaccine (4CMenB) in Children, that concluded complete vaccination with 4CMenB was found to be effective in preventing invasive disease by serogroup B and non–serogroup B meningococci in children younger than five years of age. On April 12, 2022, The Lancet Infectious Diseases published: Public health impact and cost-effectiveness of gonorrhea vaccination: an integrated transmission-dynamic health-economic modeling analysis. Interpretation - We recommend vaccination against gonorrhea according to risk in sexual health clinics in England with the 4CMenB vaccine be considered. 

Clinical Trials

No clinical trials found