Epidemiological impact and cost-effectiveness of universal vaccination with Bexsero® to reduce meningococcal group B disease in Germany

Hannah Christensen*, Tom Irving, Judith Koch, Caroline L. Trotter, Bernhard Ultsch, Felix Weidemann, Ole Wichmann, Wiebke Hellenbrand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
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Bexsero, a new vaccine against serogroup B meningococcal disease (MenB), was licensed in Europe in January 2013. In Germany, Bexsero is recommended for persons at increased risk of invasive meningococcal disease, but not for universal childhood vaccination. To support decision making we adapted the independently developed model for England to the German setting to predict the potential health impact and cost-effectiveness of universal vaccination with Bexsero® against MenB disease. We used both cohort and transmission dynamic mathematical models, the latter allowing for herd effects, to consider the impact of vaccination on individuals aged 0-99 years. Vaccination strategies included infant and adolescent vaccination, alone or in combination, and with one-off catch-up programmes. German specific data were used where possible from routine surveillance data and the literature. We assessed the impact of vaccination through cases averted and quality adjusted life years (QALY) gained and calculated costs per QALY gained. Assuming 65% vaccine uptake and 82% strain coverage, infant vaccination was estimated to prevent 15% (34) of MenB cases over the lifetime of one birth cohort. Including herd effects from vaccination increased the cases averted by infant vaccination to 22%, with an estimated 8461 infants requiring vaccination to prevent one case. In the short term the greatest health benefit is achieved through routine infant vaccination with large-scale catch-up, which could reduce cases by 24.9% after 5 years and 27.9% after 10 years. In the long term (20+ years) policies including routine adolescent vaccination are most favourable if herd effects are assumed. Under base case assumptions with a vaccine list price of €96.96 the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was >€500,000 per QALY for all considered strategies. Given the current very low incidence of MenB disease in Germany, universal vaccination with Bexsero® would prevent only a small absolute number of cases, at a high overall cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3412-3419
Number of pages8
Issue number29
Early online date22 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2016


  • Meningococcal disease
  • Serogroup B
  • Model
  • Cost-effectiveness


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