By
updated 4/25/2011 3:35:11 PM ET 2011-04-25T19:35:11

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi-Aventis, said Monday the Food and Drug Administration approved the company's bacterial meningitis vaccine Menactra for children between the ages of 9 months and 23 months.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

The disease is fairly rare in the United States, but those who get it develop symptoms quickly and can die in only a few days. Survivors can suffer mental disabilities, hearing loss and paralysis. The bacteria is spread by coughing, sneezing and kissing, and most cases occur in previously healthy children and young adults.

The company said this is the first U.S. approval for a bacterial meningitis vaccine for the age group between 9 months and 23 months.

Menactra was already approved for people ages 11 through 55 and children between 2 and 10 years old.

Story: Meningitis threatens college students

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments