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The role of national surveillance data in meningococcal conjugate vaccine programmes in England

Campbell, Helen (2018) The role of national surveillance data in meningococcal conjugate vaccine programmes in England. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.


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The surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases is a fundamental part of national vaccination programmes. Data on the incidences of targeted diseases, their distribution within the population, measurement of disease severity, the uptake of vaccination and the way that the vaccine programme is viewed by those offered vaccination allows the success of a programme to be assessed and helps identify how the programme might be improved. This thesis presents seven studies that show the importance of high quality national surveillance in designing and monitoring meningococcal conjugate vaccine programmes to offer optimal protection against MenC and MenW disease at a population level. Meningococcal disease is considered first together with the development of meningococcal vaccines and the sources of surveillance data available to monitor a national meningococcal vaccine programme. The studies presented have provided estimates of the level and duration of the effectiveness of meningococcal conjugate vaccines against MenC disease, their impact on vaccinated and unvaccinated populations in England and have identified characteristics of those who are still at risk of this very rare disease. These studies also identified emergent meningococcal strains that have caused severe and unusual presentations of MenW disease, informed the immunisation strategies employed to best contain these increases and generated impact data and vaccine effectiveness estimates after vaccination against MenW disease was introduced. Further, a study of parental attitudes provided understanding of the way that parents of young children view such vaccination programmes and their experiences with the health professionals and education materials that support them. The combined findings of these studies show the importance of national surveillance data in supporting meningococcal conjugate vaccine programmes in England and ensuring that they provide optimal protection to populations at greatest risk of invasive meningococcal disease.

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