Hicks KA, Ghaswalla P, Carrico J, Anderson S, Novy P, Hogea C, Hayney MS. Estimations of the cost of university-based outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease in the United States. Poster presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2021 Virtual Meeting; April 2021.

BACKGROUND: Thirteen outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease (MenB) occurred at United States (US) universities in 2011-2019. According to US surveillance data from 2015 to 2017, the incidence of invasive meningococcal disease was more than 5 times greater among 18- to 24-year-old college students than among those not attending college.

OBJECTIVE: We developed a calculator to estimate the societal economic burden of a university-based MenB outbreak.

DESIGN/METHODS: The calculator was built to estimate the total societal costs for 3 prematriculation immunization policies – MenB vaccination required, recommended, or no policy – with user-modifiable settings defining selected university characteristics and key assumptions. The selected policy affected the expected mass vaccination burden in an outbreak. Because university outbreaks vary significantly in number of cases, duration, and other factors, costs were estimated as ranges (low, mid-range, high) in 2020 US$. Costs to students, university, and other entities such as payers, were calculated for 4 categories: MenB cases, case investigation and contact prophylaxis, mass vaccination, and other outbreak response management. Direct medical and nonmedical costs and indirect costs (productivity losses) were considered, as were both options for MenB vaccine for use in mass vaccination (2- or 3-dose). Calculator inputs were informed by a targeted literature review of publications on the economic burden of MenB outbreaks and previous outbreak studies.

RESULTS: At a hypothetical university with 20,000 students and no MenB immunization policy, low, mid-range, and high outbreak societal cost estimates were $0.9, $5.1, and $16.8 million (2-dose vaccine) or $0.9, $5.5, and $18.0 million (3-dose), respectively. Comparatively, these estimates (2-dose vaccine) were lower at universities requiring or recommending MenB vaccination by $0.3, $1.3, and $1.6 million or $0.2, $0.7, and $1.0 million, respectively (Table 1).

CONCLUSION(S): This calculator demonstrates that the societal economic burden is lower for universities with MenB prematriculation requirement or recommendation vs no policy. By allowing universities to explore their potential costs induced by a MenB outbreak, this calculator can help inform university decisions around implementing prematriculation MenB immunization policies.

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