Cost-effectiveness of a pneumococcal conjugate immunisation program for infants in Switzerland

Silvia M Ess, Urs B Schaad, Alain Gervaix, Seline Pinösch, Thomas D Szucs
Vaccine 2003 July 4, 21 (23): 3273-81

OBJECTIVE: To compare projected economic costs and health benefits associated with using pneumococcal conjugate heptavalent vaccine as routine immunisation in healthy children in Switzerland.

DESIGN: A cost-utility analysis was performed from both the societal as well as the sickness funds' perspective.

SETTING: Simulated birth cohorts of 80,000 children (the approximate size of a birth cohort in Switzerland) were followed from birth up to age of 5.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Reduction in disease burden, costs of vaccination, cost-utility ratio (cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY)).

RESULTS: With a vaccine coverage of 70% vaccination of newborns only would avert 4 deaths, 8 cases of meningitis, 37 cases of other invasive pneumococcal disease, 150 cases of pneumococcal pneumonia and about 2700 cases of otitis media (OM) per year. The net cost of the vaccination program would be 22 Mio. CHF per year for society and about 19 Mio. CHF for the sickness funds. This results in a cost-utility ratio of 35,700 CHF (approximately 26,300 USD (1)) per QALY from the societal perspective and 39,300 CHF (28,900 USD) per QALY from the sickness funds' perspective. Additional catch-up vaccination of all infants <24 months in the years after vaccine introduction would result in additional benefits at a cost of 33,600 CHF per additional QALY gained. However, if the catch-up vaccination should include all children <60 months, each additional QALY would be gained at a very high cost (162,000 CHF per additional QALY).

CONCLUSIONS: Routine vaccination of healthy infants <2 years in Switzerland can reduce mortality and long term neurologic impairment resulting from invasive pneumococcal disease at a reasonable cost-utility ratio.

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