Meningitis vaccines may benefit individuals and family members

Meningitis vaccines may benefit individuals and families
Meningitis vaccines may benefit individuals and families | Courtesy of

A study recently published in Health Economics states that meningitis vaccines may benefit individuals as well as their close family members.

These results were determined after a survey of 1,218 family networks tracked people -- all of them were members of the Meningitis Research Foundations (MRF) -- who were affected by the disease. The survey results stated that the after-effects with survivors of meningitis negatively affected the health of their families.

“The health of carriers and others close to the patient will often be relevant to economic evaluation, but it is very rarely considered in practice,” physician and researcher Hareth Al-Janabi said. “In this study, we used three different approaches to quantify health spillovers in the context of meningitis. This study demonstrates that sizable health spillovers, which extend beyond the closest family member, are likely to occur in the context of preventing meningitis. To align economic evaluation with improving population, as opposed to purely patient health, it is important that health spillovers are given attention in applied economic evaluation.”

While patients usually receive most of the attention during illnesses, caregivers have an important role as well.

“With the help of participating families, we have been able to show that meningitis had long-term effects on family members’ health, particularly anxiety and depression,” Linda Glennie, head of research and medical information for the Meningitis Research Foundation, said. “The findings suggest that vaccinating against meningitis will bring significant health benefits not just to those that might otherwise have contracted the illness but also to their family networks. This study illustrates the importance of vaccinations to the individual and the family unit as a whole. Economic evaluations need to take into account the socio-economic costs when deciding if a vaccine is viable.”

Organizations in this Story

Meningitis Research Foundation

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