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Effective vaccines provide direct protection to immunized individuals, but may also provide benefits to unvaccinated individuals by reducing transmission and thereby lowering the risk of infection. Such herd immunity effects have been demonstrated following the introduction of meningococcal serogroup C conjugate (MCC) vaccines, with reductions in disease attack rates in unimmunized individuals and significantly lower serogroup C carriage attributable to the vaccine introduction. In the UK, targeting teenagers for immunization was crucial in maximizing indirect effects, as most meningococcal transmission occurs in this age group. Questions remain regarding the duration of herd protection and the most appropriate long-term immunization strategies. The magnitude of the herd effects following MCC vaccination was largely unanticipated, and has important consequences for the design and evaluation of new meningococcal vaccines.

Original publication

DOI

10.1586/erv.09.48

Type

Journal article

Journal

Expert Rev Vaccines

Publication Date

07/2009

Volume

8

Pages

851 - 861

Keywords

Carrier State, Humans, Immunity, Herd, Meningococcal Infections, Meningococcal Vaccines, United Kingdom