Meningitis B Vaccines High Price Tag Poses A Health Care Conundrum
Most universities do not require the widely-advertised inoculation
Four years ago, when meningitis B, an extremely rare but potentially lethal form of the infection, sickened a small number of college students at Princeton and the University of California-Santa Barbara, there was no vaccine against the disease sold in the U.S. Despite its availability abroad, it had never been licensed in the country due to its limited marketability.
Scientific evidence supporting an absolute need to immunize against meningitis B still falls short. The risk of contracting it is smaller than that of being involved in a car crash.
But the headlines prompted by those 13 campus caseswhich resulted in one death and one double amputationhelped reshape the financial prospects for a vaccine.
Today, two brand-name vaccines, both with price tags of more than $300, are widely advertised on television and touted as a smart investment for parents who love their college-bound kids.
As moms, we send our kids out into the world, full of hope, says a mother in the ad for Bexsero, sold by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, as her son loads up the car to go off to college.
Says another voice, And we dont want something like meningitis B getting in their way.
Analysts expect the two vaccines to generate annually at least hundreds of millions of dollars in global sales.
The resulting messages can confuse parents.
When Did The Meningitis B Vaccine Start
The NHS started offering the new meningitis vaccine to babies as part of its childhood inoculation program last September.
The vaccine is given as a single injection in the baby’s thigh. There are doses at two months, four months and 12 months.
More than 800,000 people have signed a petition calling for wider access to the vaccine on the NHS. But government has ruled that it would not be cost effective.
MRF chief executive Smith called for greater access, adding: “This is an exceptional disease, with exceptional fear associated with it.
“For every parent who worries this could touch their family, 400 cases of meningitis each year is simply 400 too many.
Students are being urged to get vaccinated against Meningitis W, a fatal strain of the diease.
Vaccine Is Highly Effective But The Disease Is Too Rare To Justify The Cost Of Universal Vaccinations
A computer-generated model developed by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers adds to evidence that providing universal vaccination against meningitis B infection to students entering college may be too costly to justify the absolute number of cases it would prevent. The study also suggests that if vaccine developers could significantly lower the price, universal vaccination might be worth requiring on college campuses.
In a report on the cost/benefit estimate published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers determined the cost per quality-adjusted life year, or QALYstandard measure of the public policy value of medical interventionsto be $13.9 million if every student entering college in the United States were vaccinated. Historic expenditures and previous research, the investigators say, assume that society is willing to pay $150,000 per QALY.
Put another way, the new study suggests that universal vaccination of the college student population would be considered cost-effective only if a vaccine series cost less than $65 the average current price is $324, according to study authors.
“Vaccines have become widely available within the past few years,” Leeds says, “but there’s very little evidence to suggest that they’re going to do much good given their high cost in a generally healthy population.”
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How Much Does The Pneumonia Vaccine Cost Please How Much
How much does the pneumonia vaccine cost, please? How much does the meningitis vaccine cost? Thanks.
ImmunizeBC does not have information about vaccine pricing. Non-publicly funded vaccines can be purchased at most pharmacies or at a travel clinic – you will need to contact the pharmacy or travel clinic for information regarding cost. There are 2 types of pneumonia vaccines available in British Columbia. For more information about pneumococcal vaccines check here. There are several types of meningitis vaccines available. For information about meningococcal vaccines, check here. You may or may not qualify for publicly funded vaccine depending on your health circumstances, In this case, the vaccine would be free. Please speak to your vaccine provider for this information.
How Much Do Meningitis Vaccines Cost
Because of what we see, hear, or read everywhere, paranoia has become part of our character in recent years, especially if we are already a parent.
When we see a rash in our kids skin, palpitations set in. It may be just a simple case of a bug or other insect bite that coincided with a fever. Yes, of all the time to have a rash. But we want to make sure. We do the glass test. When the rash turns white upon pressure from the clear glass, we could heave a sigh of relief. When it didnt, our palpitations turn to heart attack, figuratively, as this calls for an emergency.
But why subject yourself to this kind of stress and your loved one the agony when you could prevent it from happening by having them vaccinated against meningitis and be protected from some of its strains?
Meningitis is a disease which causes inflammation or swelling of the protective membranes that cover the brain and the spinal cord. It spreads through the common behavior such as sharing foods, utensils and sharing rooms with someone who has the virus.
Symptoms can mimic that of a regular fever with the existence of some rash but can be fatal within 24 hours if not treated immediately.
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Meningococcal Acwy Vaccine Side Effects
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is effective and safe, although all medications can have unwanted side effects.
Side effects from this vaccine are uncommon and are usually mild, but may include:
- localised pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
- occasionally, an injection-site lump that may last many weeks
- low-grade temperature
- children being unsettled, irritable, tearful, or generally unhappy, drowsy and tired.
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated Or Should Wait
- Anyone who has ever had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of MCV4 or MPSV4 vaccine or diphtheria vaccine
- Anyone who has a severe allergy to any vaccine component
- Anyone who is moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should wait until they recover before receiving the vaccine
- For more information on additional warnings and precautions visit
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Travel Health Clinic Information
The Saskatchewan Health Authority has 12 travel health locations in communities throughout the province. These clinics offer individual risk assessment and consultation, counselling and vaccinations to protect your health during trips outside Canada. These clinics meet the standards of the Public Health Agency of Canada for the Practice of Travel Medicine.
At the SHA Travel Health Centres, registered nurses with specialized training can vaccinate all ages, including children under the age of five a great option for families planning a trip. Assessment for malaria and altitude illness with prescriptions for recommended medications is available at some of the Travel Health Centres. Some sites have travel health products available for purchase.
Why Teenagers And Students Should Have The Menacwy Vaccine
Meningococcal disease is a rare but life-threatening disease caused by meningococcal bacteria.
Older teenagers and new university students are at higher risk of infection because many of them mix closely with lots of new people, some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria at the back of their nose and throat.
Anyone who is eligible for the MenACWY vaccine should have it, even if they have previously had the MenC vaccine.
The MenACWY vaccine is highly effective in preventing illness caused by the 4 meningococcal strains, including the extremely harmful MenW strain.
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Meningitis B Is A Killer
Meningococcal group B bacteria are a serious cause of life-threatening infections worldwide, including meningitis and .
They’re also the leading infectious killer of babies and young children in the UK.
There are 12 known groups of meningococcal bacteria, and group B is responsible for about 9 in every 10 meningococcal infections in the UK.
Meningitis and sepsis caused by meningococcal group B bacteria can affect people of any age but are most common in babies and young children.
While most young children recover from MenB, around 1 in 20 die from the infection.
Many of those who survive have a permanent disability, such as brain damage, epilepsy, hearing loss, or the loss of limbs .
What Are The Risks From Meningococcal Vaccines
Most people have mild side effects from the vaccine, such as redness or pain where the shot was given. A vaccine, like any medicine, may cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. This risk is extremely small. Getting the meningococcal vaccine is much safer than getting the disease.
You can learn more on the Vaccine Information Statements for meningococcal ACWY and meningococcal B.
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Concerns About Immunisation Side Effects
If a side effect following immunisation is unexpected, persistent or severe, or if you are worried about yourself or your childs condition after an immunisation, see your doctor or immunisation nurse as soon as possible or go directly to a hospital.
It is important to seek medical advice if you are unwell, as this may be due to other illness rather than because of the vaccination.
In Victoria you can report immunisation side effects to SAEFVIC, the vaccine safety and central reporting service on Tel. 1300 882 924 #1. Ask your immunisation provider how to report adverse events in other states or territories.
What Is Meningitis B
Meningitis can be caused by a viral, fungal or bacterial infection. Viral meningitis can be very unpleasant but it is almost never life threatening and generally most people make a full recovery. However, most cases of meningitis in the UK and Ireland are caused by meningococcal bacteria. A person infected with the meningococcal bacteria may develop symptoms of meningitis septicaemia or even both. Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. Septicaemia is the blood poisoning form of the disease. Together these two forms of the disease are known as meningococcal disease. Meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia can kill and remains the leading infectious cause of death in the UK for children under five.
For decades, Meningitis B has been the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in the UK and Ireland. Vaccines are the only way to prevent meningitis and have almost eliminated some other kinds of meningitis.
The first stocks of MenB vaccine are now available privately, which means that those who can pay for it will be able to get it. In the very near future, the vaccine will also be made available free of charge on the NHS to those with medical conditions that increase their risk of the disease.
The Meningitis Research Foundation estimates that in the UK, more than 9 people a day will contract meningitis or septicaemia approximately 3,400 people each year.
How effective is this vaccine?
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Persons With Inadequate Immunization Records
Children and adults lacking adequate documentation of immunization should be considered unimmunized and started on an immunization schedule appropriate for their age and risk factors. Conjugate meningococcal vaccine, as appropriate for age, may be given regardless of possible previous receipt of the vaccine, as adverse events associated with repeated immunization have not been demonstrated. Refer to Immunization of persons with inadequate immunization records in Part 3 for additional general information.
Guidance On Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunization
To ensure the ongoing safety of vaccines in Canada, reporting of AEFIs by vaccine providers and other clinicians is critical, and in some jurisdictions, reporting is mandatory under the law.
Vaccine providers are asked to report AEFIs, through local public health officials, and to check for specific AEFI reporting requirements in their province or territory. In general, any serious or unexpected adverse event felt to be temporally related to vaccination should be reported.
For additional information about AEFI reporting, please refer to Adverse events following immunization. For general vaccine safety information, refer to Vaccine safety and pharmacovigilance in Part 2.
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How To Spot Meningococcal Disease
Symptoms of meningococcal disease can start like a bad case of flu but they get worse very quickly. Early treatment can be lifesaving.
Other symptoms of meningococcal disease can include:
- a headache
- cold hands and feet
- drowsiness or difficulty waking up
A rash may also appear that can develop into a purple, bruise-like rash that does not fade under pressure for instance, when gently pressing a glass against it .
If you, or a child or adult you know, has any of these symptoms, get urgent medical help. Do not wait for the rash to develop. Early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics are vital.
Although meningococcal disease commonly causes meningitis and septicaemia, which can trigger sepsis, it can also more rarely cause other illnesses. These include pneumonia and joint infections .
Find out more about meningitis.
The Dangers Of Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal disease can cause both meningitis and septicaemia . Septicaemia and meningitis can trigger , which is a life-threatening response to infection.
Meningococcal disease is rare but very serious. It requires urgent hospital treatment.
It can lead to life-changing disabilities, such as amputations, hearing loss and brain damage.
The MenACWY vaccine was previously recommended only for people at increased risk of meningococcal disease, including people who have had their spleen removed, or have a spleen that does not work properly, for Hajj pilgrims, and for travellers to countries with high rates of meningococcal disease, including parts of Africa and Latin America.
Read about having the MenACWY vaccine before travelling on our page about travel vaccinations.
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What Are The Options For Meningococcal Vaccine
Meningococcal vaccine is highly effective at protecting against four strains of the meningococcal bacteria. Three strains are common in the United States and the fourth strain protects travelers to certain countries where the disease is more common.
The MenACWY vaccine does not contain the meningococcal B strain that may cause some cases in adolescents/young adults. The meningococcal B vaccine can be given to people age 16-23 years. MenB vaccine is also recommended for people over age 10 years with certain high-risk conditions. If your clinic does not carry the MenB vaccine, you can ask them to order it for you, or to refer you to another clinic that has the vaccine. Talk to your health care provider about this additional vaccine.
Meningitis Can Kill A Healthy Child
Meningitis B can kill a healthy child within hours of the first symptoms.
The disease is an infection of the meninges – the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Since the vaccine was licensed two years ago there have been 1,130 cases, of which at least 452 people died or suffered disabilities.
The first symptoms usually include fever, vomiting and headaches.
Others include limb pain, pale skin, neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights and confusion.
It is commonly found in children under five years of age but can also affect teenagers aged 15 to 19.
It is fatal in around 10 per cent of cases. Some of those who survive are left with long-term problems, such as amputation, deafness, epilepsy and learning difficulties.
He said ministers had had a stand-off with Novartis, which owned the vaccine, for the best part of a year as it failed to agree a cheaper price.
The jab, called Bexsero, has since been bought by GlaxoSmithKline, which has agreed a lower cost.
Sue Davie, of the charity Meningitis Now, said: To know that babies will be protected is fantastic and another great step forward in our fight against meningitis.
Chris Head, of the Meningitis Research Foundation, said: We are delighted that vaccinating all babies against this devastating disease is within sight, cementing the UKs position as a world leader in meningitis prevention.
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Are Free Or Low
Yes, if you don’t have insurance or your insurance does not cover the cost of the meningococcal vaccines, you may be able to find free or low-cost meningococcal shots. Note that there may still be an administration fee of up to $21.22 per shot.
- If you are 18 years old or younger: Talk to your doctor or clinic to see if they participate in the Minnesota Vaccines for Children Program.
- If you are 19 years old or older: Go to Vaccination Clinics Serving Uninsured and Underinsured Adults to search for a clinic near you that offers low-cost vaccines for eligible adults.
Where Can You Get The Menb Vaccine And How Much Does It Cost
The jab, called Bexsero, costs £95 per dose with a full vaccination requiring a course of two doses.
Supplies of the meningococcal B vaccine – which protects against meningitis and septicaemia – are now available at Boots and Superdrug chemists after stock ran out three months ago.
The jab, called Bexsero, costs £95 per dose with a full vaccination requiring a course of two doses at a total cost of £190.
Customers can call the Superdrug booking line on 03 333 111 007 to make an appointment.
Branches at Corporation Street, Birmingham, the Mander Centre in Wolverhampton and Solihulls Touchwood stores have supplies of the vaccine.
- What you need to know about Meningitis B: The dangers, the symptoms and the vaccinations that are available for children
At Boots, patients should have signed up to a notification list which was created earlier this year.
Customers on the list will be contacted and allocated a unique URL code which will enable them to book an appointment at their nearest Boots Pharmacy.
Private clinics are also offering the jab including the Edgbaston Private Medical Practice on 0121 454 9535 and The Oakley Partnership in Sutton Coldfield who can be contacted on 0121 308 8876.
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