Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) has co-authored a research paper recommending improved ways of measuring the impact of meningococcal disease.
These recommendations could ultimately help governments to be able to make more informed decisions about introducing vaccines that protect against this deadly cause of meningitis and septicaemia.
Meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia can kill in hours and can cause a range of health problems of differing severity levels in those that survive it - the impact of which can alter the lives of those affected and their families and friends.
As a result of the diverse ways in which survivors are affected it’s difficult to accurately measure the impact of meningococcal disease on quality of life for those who get it, and the impact is easily underestimated, largely due to gaps and weaknesses in the current methods of assessment.
This can make it more challenging for health economic assessments to conclude that vaccines for uncommon but severe infections such as meningococcal B meningitis (MenB) should be introduced.
Decision-making processes on whether to recommend the MenB vaccine in many European countries are ongoing.
The paper, published in Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, summarises opinions from an expert panel including epidemiologists, clinicians, paediatricians, psychologists, MRF as patient representatives, and health economists.