NFID Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research
NFID Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research
April 04, 2019
2 min read

Cost-benefit analysis shows MenB vaccination ‘clear choice’ over treatment

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BALTIMORE — A cost-benefit analysis showed the large financial benefit of vaccinating against meningococcal B compared with the costs associated with treatment and follow-up for invasive disease, including mental health treatment, according to research presented at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases’ Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research.

“Prior to working for Eskenzai Health, I worked for the immunization division with the Indiana State Department of Health as the education outreach manager and this topic of MenB vaccination — the costs and benefits of receiving it — is one that we’ve been batting around for some time at the state level,” Katharina Lewman, MPH, told Infectious Disease News. “It’s a small problem but it can also be big — and when it is, it’s devastating.”

In the cost-benefit analysis, Lewman and colleagues based vaccine efficacy and cost of treatment in the vaccinated group on two doses of privately purchased Bexsero (GlaxoSmithKline), which costs $331.50, and total average administration fees of $105.72, according to the abstract. They determined that in the United States, adolescents can expect to live to age 78 years. The clinical effectiveness and discounted medical costs of meningococcal B vaccination were determined using a 60-year model.

Lewman and colleagues estimated that initial treatment costs in the no-vaccination group would be $76,391 and that first-year follow-up treatment costs — including inpatient, outpatient, durable medical equipment and ancillary care costs — would total $51,584. They estimated that mental health treatments for survivors of meningococcal B would surpass $8,000 in a year.

“A part that I really wanted to look into was the mental health aspect of things,” Lewman said. “I didn’t see a lot of that in previous research, meaning they talked about it, but not a lot. It’s important to note that PTSD is actually a bigger deal in this group, particularly for the kids [who contract MenB]. We see it in the parents.”

Based on these data, the researchers concluded that vaccination is the “clear choice” when making a financial decision.

“Understanding that the marginal benefit of vaccinations in a post-antibiotic world is going to be small — because prior to antibiotics, the mortality rate was between 70% and 85%, which only leaves around 15% of people that the vaccine could actually work in — is very important,” Lewman said. “Antibiotics have done most of the work and now vaccinations will take it across the finish line. People do need to get vaccinated.” – by Caitlyn Stulpin


Lewman K. Abstract 200. Presented at: NFID Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research; April. 3-5, 2019; Baltimore.

Disclosures: Lewman reports no relevant financial disclosures.