Cost Effectiveness of Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccination in College-Aged Young Adults

Published:December 17, 2018DOI:


      Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B is the most common form of meningococcal infection in young adults in the U.S. Vaccines have recently become available, but it is not clear that the benefits outweigh the costs. The purpose of this study was to assess cost effectiveness and determine potentially favorable conditions for universal vaccination.


      Costs and benefits of universal vaccination at college entry versus no universal vaccination with an outbreak response were estimated in 2018 in the context of a mid-sized U.S.-based 4-year college from both a health sector and a societal perspective. Probability, cost, and utility data were obtained from the published literature. Costs (2015 U.S.$) and benefits were discounted at 3%. One-way and multivariable probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed including variations in the specific vaccine used. Further testing of the model's parameters at extremes was used to identify favorable conditions for universal vaccination.


      The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year gained with universal vaccination was $13.9 million under the health sector perspective and $13.8 million under the societal perspective, each perspective was compared with a willingness-to-pay threshold of $150,000 per quality-adjusted life year. Multivariable probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed that universal vaccination was not the preferred strategy for <$15 million per quality-adjusted life year. Under an extremely favorable model, a universal vaccination strategy became cost effective for vaccine series costing <$65.


      This study demonstrates that universal vaccination at college entry is not cost effective. The rarity of N. meningitidis serogroup B contributes to the lack of cost effectiveness for universal vaccination.
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