Researchers say the introduction of meningitis C vaccine into the UK has not only reduced the incidence of the disease in children and young people, but has done so cost-effectively. Researchers assessed the cost-effectiveness of the meningitis C campaign in young people up to the age of 19.
Before the immunisation programme's introduction in December 1998, meningitis C affected approximately 1,190 children resulting in at least 88 deaths each year. The researchers say the annual cost to the health service of treating these cases was around £4.88 million. The team calculated that the campaign would prevent 9,980 cases of meningitis C and 666 deaths over the cohort's lifetime, resulting in almost 23,000 discounted life years saved. That saving would avoid costs of about £29 million in treatment and control.
They estimated the campaign would cost between £189 million and £261 million, depending on the price of the vaccine, and that the cost per life year saved over the entire programme would be £7,657. The researchers conclude that the meningitis C vaccination campaign is succeeding in reducing the incidence of the disease in the targeted age groups in a cost-effective manner.