OBJECTIVE: Recently, a vaccine with the capacity to protect against serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) disease received a positive opinion of the European Medicines Agency. Previously, such a vaccine was estimated to be cost-effective. However, since then, the MenB disease incidence has declined drastically in the Netherlands. Therefore, we re-assessed the potential incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of vaccinating infants in the Netherlands with a MenB vaccine.
RESULTS: Routine infant vaccination (2, 3, 4+11 mo) could prevent 39 cases of MenB disease in a single birth cohort, corresponding to a total gain of 133 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). However, this strategy is unlikely to be cost-effective if the vaccine costs €40 per dose (€243,778 per QALY). At a disease incidence of 5.7 per 100,000 person-years or a vaccine price of €10 per dose including administration costs, the ICER becomes more acceptable and remains below a threshold of €50,000 per QALY.
METHODS: A cohort of 185,000 Dutch newborns was followed in a Markov model to compare routine vaccination against MenB disease with no vaccination. The ICER was estimated for different disease incidences. The study was performed from a societal perspective.
CONCLUSIONS: At the current low level of disease incidence, introduction of routine infant vaccination, following a 2, 3, 4+11 mo schedule, against MenB disease is unlikely cost-effective in the Netherlands. If the MenB disease incidence increases or the vaccine price is substantially lower than €40, routine infant vaccination has the potential to be cost-effective.