There are currently no authorised vaccines available to protect against meningococcal B. However, a meningococcal B vaccine (Bexero) has been recommended recently by the European Medicines Agency for market authorisation. In anticipation of the availability of a meningococcal B vaccine, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI—the independent expert committee that provides advice to Government on immunisation) is evaluating possible meningococcal B vaccination strategies. As part of this assessment, JCVI is considering evidence on the epidemiology and carriage of different meningococcal serogroup B strains, the costs of treating meningococcal serogroup B disease and the costs of treating the long-term conditions that result from this disease, as well as the quality of life of affected individuals.
JCVI's evaluation is expected to be completed during 2013.
The Department will consider the advice of JCVI once received and depending on the advice, the possible introduction of a meningococcal B vaccination programme in conjunction with the NHS Commissioning Board and Public Health England.