The current UK debate over whether the Meningitis B vaccine should be extended to children over 1 year old might result in a shake-up of the NICE rules for approving treatments which under the current rules are not approved. "The vaccine was introduced for babies under 1 year old in September 2015, but the government says it isn’t cost-effective for older children.
Meningitis is one of the most feared childhood illnesses because of the way it can progress with terrifying speed to kill or maim those who were running around just the day before. The justification for withholding the shot is that meningitis B is rare, affecting only a few hundred children a year – so the benefits of vaccinating all children and teenagers look small next to most other things the NHS does.
The parliamentary petition to give the new meningitis B vaccine to all UK children has had more than 800,000 signatures – the highest number on record.
There are several problems with the modelling study on which the decision was based. One is that the extent to which the vaccine prevents disability was worked out using a scale designed for adults. It asks, for instance, if the person can dress without help or is depressed, questions that don’t easily translate to young children.
Secondly, the model gauged the vaccine’s costs and benefits using a system that some say fails to give due weight to future health..." (my emphasis)
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