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Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Jan 1;46(1):1-13. doi: 10.1086/524041.

Economics of an adolescent meningococcal conjugate vaccination catch-up campaign in the United States.

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  • 1National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.



In June 2005, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the newly licensed quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine for routine use among all US children aged 11 years. A 1-time catch-up vaccination campaign for children and adolescents aged 11-17 years, followed by routine annual immunization of each child aged 11 years, could generate immediate herd immunity benefits. The objective of our study was to analyze the cost-effectiveness of a catch-up vaccination campaign with quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine for children and adolescents aged 11-17 years.


We built a probabilistic model of disease burden and economic impacts for a 10-year period with and without a program of adolescent catch-up meningococcal vaccination, followed by 9 years of routine immunization of children aged 11 years. We used US age- and serogroup-specific surveillance data on incidence and mortality. Assumptions related to the impact of herd immunity were drawn from experience with routine meningococcal vaccination in the United Kingdom. We estimated costs per case, deaths prevented, life-years saved, and quality-adjusted life-years saved.


With herd immunity, the catch-up and routine vaccination program for adolescents would prevent 8251 cases of meningococcal disease in a 10-year period (a 48% decrease). Excluding program costs, this catch-up and routine vaccination program would save US$551 million in direct costs and $920 million in indirect costs, including costs associated with permanent disability and premature death. At $83 per vaccinee, the catch-up vaccination would cost society approximately $223,000 per case averted, approximately $2.6 million per death prevented, approximately $127,000 per life-year saved, and approximately $88,000 per quality-adjusted life-year saved. Targeting counties with a high incidence of disease decreased the cost per life-year saved by two-thirds.


Although costly, catch-up and routine vaccination of adolescents can have a substantial impact on meningococcal disease burden. Because of herd immunity, catch-up and routine vaccination cost per life-year saved could be up to one-third less than that previously assessed for routine vaccination of children aged 11 years.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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