Trends in meningococcal disease: challenges for vaccine control when disease is rare

Andrew J Pollard and Hannah Christensen
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00514
Published online: 6 November 2017

The clinical, social and economic value of vaccination varies both with time and by population group

In most wealthy and in many middle income countries, capsular group B Neisseria meningitidis (MenB) remains an important cause of invasive disease, particularly in the era of control of other major bacterial pathogens, such as MenC, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and vaccine-type pneumococcus. Two new MenB vaccines1,2 (now licensed in many countries) provide the potential for a comprehensive approach to controlling these invasive bacterial pathogens. However, decisions about vaccination at the population level are complex when there are low rates of disease: cost-effectiveness is a particularly important factor.3

  • 1 University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 2 University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom


Hannah Christensen is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions at the University of Bristol, in partnership with Public Health England. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Health Service, the NIHR, the Department of Health, or Public Health England.

Competing interests:

Andrew Pollard has conducted studies on behalf of Oxford University funded by vaccine manufacturers, but does not currently undertake industry-funded clinical trials. Trials of vaccines or observational studies previously funded by Okairos, Novartis and Pfizer were completed in the past 3 years. His department received unrestricted educational grants from Pfizer/GSK/Astra Zeneca in July 2016 for a course on Infection and Immunity in Children. Andrew Pollard chairs the United Kingdom Department of Health Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and is a member of the World Health Organization Strategic Advisory Group of Experts. Hannah Christensen has received an honorarium from Sanofi Pasteur, and consultancy fees from IMS Health, AstraZeneca, and GSK, all paid to her employer.

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