Paper of the Month April 2014
Economic Evaluation of the Routine Childhood Immunization Program in the United States, 2009
Fangjun Zhou, Abigail Shefer, Jay Wenger, Mark Messonnier, Li Yan Wang, Adriana Lopez, Matthew Moore, Trudy V. Murphy, Margaret Cortese and Lance Rodewald
To evaluate the economic impact of the 2009 routine US childhood immunization schedule, including diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b conju- gate, inactivated poliovirus, measles/mumps/rubella, hepatitis B, varicella, 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate, hepatitis A, and rotavirus vaccines; influenza vaccine was not included.
Decision analysis was conducted using population-based vaccination coverage, published vaccine efficacies, historical data on disease incidence before vaccination, and disease incidence reported during 2005 to 2009. Costs were estimated using the direct cost and societal (direct and indirect costs) perspectives. Program costs included vaccine, administration, vaccine-associated adverse events, and parent travel and work time lost. All costs were inflated to 2009 dollars, and all costs and benefits in the future were discounted at a 3% annual rate. A hypothetical 2009 US birth cohort of 4261494 infants over their lifetime was followed up from birth through death. Net present value (net savings) and benefit-cost ratios of routine childhood immunization were calculated.
Analyses showed that routine childhood immunization among members of the 2009 US birth cohort will prevent ∼42 000 early deaths and 20 million cases of disease, with net savings of $13.5 billion in direct costs and $68.8 billion in total societal costs, respec- tively. The direct and societal benefit-cost ratios for routine childhood vaccination with these 9 vaccines were 3.0 and 10.1. CONCLUSIONS: From both direct cost and societal perspectives, vaccinating children as recommended with these vaccines results in substantial cost savings.