Equity of the Meningitis B vaccination programme in England, 2016–2018

Karen S. Tiley, Joanne M. White, Nick Andrews, Elise Tessier, Michael Edelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In England, the Meningitis B (MenB) vaccine is scheduled at eight and 16 weeks with a booster dose at one year of age and protects children against invasive bacterial meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B. Coverage of the second dose of MenB vaccine at 12 months was >92% in 2017/18, but this may mask inequalities in coverage in particular population groups. MenB vaccination records for children aged six, 12 and 18 months of age from December 2016 to May 2018 were routinely extracted from GP patient management systems every month in England via a web-based platform for national monitoring of vaccine coverage. We determined the association between ethnicity, deprivation and area of residence, vaccine coverage and drop-out rates (between dose one and dose two), using binomial regression. After adjusting for other factors, ethnic groups with lowest dose one coverage (Black or Black British-Caribbean, White-Any other White background, White-Irish) also had lowest dose two coverage, but in addition, these ethnic groups also had the largest drop-out rates between dose one and dose two. The drop-out rate for Black or Black British-Caribbean children was 5.7 percentage points higher than for White-British children. Vaccine coverage decreased with increasing deprivation quintile, and this was most marked for the booster coverage (6.2 percentage points lower in the most deprived compared to least deprived quintile, p < 0.001). To achieve high coverage for completed courses across all ethnic groups and deprivation quintiles both high initiation rates and a reduction in drop-out rates for ethnic groups with lowest coverage is necessary. A qualitative approach to better understand reasons behind lower coverage and higher drop-out rates in the most underserved ethnic groups is required to develop tailored approaches addressing these inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6125-6132
Number of pages8
Issue number42
StatePublished - 6 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Coverage
  • Ethnicity
  • Immunisation
  • Inequality
  • Meningitis B
  • Vaccination

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Veterinary


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