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Z Gesundh Wiss. 2011 Oct;19(5):409-415. Epub 2011 Mar 16.

Implementation and impact of a meningococcal C conjugate vaccination program in 13- to 25-year-old individuals in Galicia, Spain.



In response to increased case numbers of meningococcal group C disease, catch-up vaccination strategies have been shown to be successful. This paper describes the results of a repeat vaccination program in Galicia, Spain, and the strategy used for it.


Three vaccination waves were performed: first, in 1996/1997 with a meningococcal group A and C polysaccharide vaccine in individuals aged 18 months to 19 years; second, in 2000 with a conjugate serogroup C polysaccharide vaccine in children born since 1993 and all children and adolescents up to 19 years not previously vaccinated; third, a campaign in 2006 that became necessary because of the development of a new Neisseria strain and an increase in both the incidence and lethality of meningococcal C disease. The conjugate vaccine de-O-acetylated group C meningococcal polysaccharide coupled to tetanus toxoid was used (GCMP-TT; brand name, NeisVac-C).


Applying a strategy based on model calculations derived from the UK setting and focusing on a population aged 13-25 years, including students, employees of companies, and underage individuals, a total of 286,000 subjects were vaccinated, resulting in global vaccination coverage of 82.2% (all age groups over 74%). Only 17 adverse events in 17 individuals were reported, which all were mild. Incidence of meningococcal disease serogroup C by season was reduced from 0.84 cases per 100,000 in 2004/05 to 0.76 cases per 100,000 in 2005/2006 to 0.18/100,000 in 2007/08. In parallel, mortality was also decreased from 8 cases during 2005/06 (0.29 per 100,000) to 1 case in 2007/2008 (0.03 per 100,000). No cases of breakthrough disease occurred in the vaccinated population.


In Galicia, a series of vaccination campaigns, particularly focusing on high-risk groups, has shown high effectiveness, with a marked reduction in the disease incidence in the vaccination cohort accompanied by a relevant reduction in the overall population.

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