Economic and clinical evaluation of a catch-up dose of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in children already immunized with three doses of the 7-valent vaccine in Italy

Sara Boccalini, Chiara Azzari, Massimo Resti, Claudia Valleriani, Martina Cortimiglia, Emilia Tiscione, Angela Bechini, Paolo Bonanni
Vaccine 2011 November 28, 29 (51): 9521-8
A new 13-valent conjugated polysaccharide vaccine (PCV13) against Streptococcus pneumoniae infections, which replaced the 7-valent vaccine (PCV7) in the regional immunization programmes for newborns and children who started but not completed the 3 doses schedule of PCV7, is available in Italy since 2010. The opportunity of administering a further dose of PCV13 to children under 5 years of age who had already completed their vaccination with PCV7, with the aim of extending the serotype coverage, triggered an animated scientific debate. The purpose of this study was to perform a clinical/economic evaluation of the administration of a dose of PCV13, in a catch-up programme, for children under 5 years of age, who had already received 3 doses of PCV7. A mathematical model of the clinical/economic impact of the adoption of 4 catch-up strategies with PCV13 (children up to 24, 36, 48 and 60 months old) was set up, with a vaccination coverage of 80%, versus immunization with 3 doses of PCV7 without the catch-up programme. The time span covered by the simulation was 5.5 years. The following clinical outcomes of infection were evaluated: hospitalised meningitis/sepsis, hospitalised bacteraemic pneumonias (complicated and uncomplicated), hospitalised non-bacteraemic pneumonias, and non-hospitalised pneumonias. The administration of one dose of PCV13 to children up to 60 months of age significantly reduces the number of cases of pneumococcal diseases (especially, non-hospitalised pneumonias, 80% of all events prevented, and hospitalised cases of non-bacteraemic pneumococcal pneumonias, 15% of all events prevented) and, subsequently, the relative cost for medical treatment. This results in savings for medical costs amounting to more than 1,000,000 Euros when vaccinating children under 24 months of age (up to almost 3 million Euros for children up to 60 months). More than half of those savings are attributable to avoided hospitalised cases of non-bacteraemic pneumococcal pneumonias. Increasing the number of cohorts involved in the vaccination programme, the impact of immunization increases. The average cost per event avoided is 1674 Euros vaccinating children up to 24 months, and increases to 2522 Euros by vaccinating up to 60 months of age. The cost per year of life saved for different vaccination strategies is always acceptable (from 12,250 Euros to 22,093 Euros). The results of this study justify, even from the economic point of view, the recommendation of the Italian Ministry of Health to vaccinate children up to 24 months of life in a catch-up programme, as well as the administration of PCV13 children up to 36 months of age, already used in some Italian regions. Furthermore, a catch-up programme that provides the immunization of children under 60 months of age, is also justified from both the economic and clinical point of view.

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