Cost-effectiveness analysis of an intranasal influenza vaccine for the prevention of influenza in healthy children.

Publication Type
Journal Article
Year of Publication
Luce, B R; Zangwill, K M; Palmer, C S; Mendelman, P M; Yan, L; Wolff, M C; Cho, I; Marcy, S M; Iacuzio, D; Belshe, R B
Date Published
2001 Aug
Administration, Intranasal; Child, Preschool; Cost of Illness; Cost-Benefit Analysis; Double-Blind Method; Drug Costs; Efficiency; Health Care Costs; Health Expenditures; Health Services; Humans; Infant; Influenza Vaccines; Influenza, Human; Placebos; Prospective Studies; Vaccination

OBJECTIVE: Intranasal influenza vaccine has proven clinical efficacy and may be better tolerated by young children and their families than an injectable vaccine. This study determined the potential cost-effectiveness (CE) of an intranasal influenza vaccine among healthy children.

METHODS: We conducted a CE analysis of data collected between 1996 and 1998 during a prospective 2-year efficacy trial of intranasal influenza vaccine, supplemented with data from the literature. The CE analysis included both direct and indirect costs. We enrolled 1602 healthy children aged 15 to 71 months in year 1, 1358 of whom were enrolled in year 2. One or 2 doses of intranasal influenza vaccine or placebo were administered to measure the cost per febrile influenza-like illness (ILI) day avoided.

RESULTS: During the 2-year study period, vaccinated children had an average of 1.2 fewer ILI fever days/child than unvaccinated children. In an individual-based vaccine delivery scenario with vaccine given twice in the first year and once each year thereafter at an assumed base case total cost of $20 for the vaccine and its administration (ie, per dose), CE was approximately $30/febrile ILI day avoided. CE ranged from $10 to $69/febrile ILI day avoided at $10 to $40/dose, respectively. In a group-based delivery scenario, vaccination was cost saving compared with placebo and remained so if vaccine cost was <$28 (the break-even price per dose). In the individual-based scenario, vaccination was cost saving if vaccine cost was <$5. In this scenario, nearly half of lost productivity in the vaccine group was attributable to vaccine visits, which overshadowed the relatively modest savings in ILI-associated costs averted.

CONCLUSIONS: Routine use of intranasal influenza vaccine among healthy children may be cost-effective and may be maximized by using group-based vaccination approaches. cost-effectiveness, influenza, vaccine, children.