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Planning influenza vaccination programs: a cost benefit model

DOI: 10.1186/1478-7547-10-10

Keywords: Influenza, Immunization, Vaccination, Cost benefit, Economic model

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Abstract:

An actuarial model was developed based on the published literature to estimate the costs and benefits of influenza immunization programs. Useful features of the model included customization by population age and risk-level, potential pandemic risk, and projection year. Various immunization strategies were modelled for an average U.S. population of 15,000 persons vaccinated in pharmacies or doctor’s office during the 2011/12 season. The primary outcome measure reported net cost savings per vaccinated (PV) from the perspective of various stakeholders.Given a typical U.S. population, an influenza immunization program will be cost beneficial for employers when more than 37% of individuals receive vaccine in non-traditional settings such as pharmacies. The baseline scenario, where 50% of persons would be vaccinated in non-traditional settings, estimated net savings of $6 PV. Programs that limited to pharmacy setting ($31 PV) or targeted persons with high-risk comorbidities ($83 PV) or seniors ($107 PV) were found to increase cost benefit. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the scenario-based findings.Both universal and targeted vaccination programs can be cost beneficial. Proper planning with cost models can help employers and policy makers develop strategies to improve the impact of immunization programs.Seasonal influenza (flu) is a costly disease to patients, employers, and society in terms of direct and indirect medical cost and lost productivity. The most recent estimates of the cost of flu from 2003 showed $10.4 billion annually in direct medical costs and $16.3 billion in indirect costs associated with lost earnings and loss of life [1]. From a societal perspective, the total economic burden of the flu in the United States is $87.1 billion [1]. During influenza season, influenza-like-illness (ILI) is responsible for 45% of workdays lost and for 49% of low productivity days among working adults aged 50–64?years [2].Although vaccination is effective in decreasing the bu

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