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Bull World Health Organ. 2002; 80(4): 264–270.
PMCID: PMC2567775

Economic analyses of rubella and rubella vaccines: a global review.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the incorporation of rubella vaccine into immunization programmes in developing countries is economically justified. METHODS: A MEDLINE search was conducted for articles published between 1970 and 2000 that dealt with economic analyses of rubella and rubella-containing vaccines. The Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia, and Africa regional Index Medicus databases and the LILACS database for Latin America and the Caribbean were also searched. FINDINGS: For developed countries, five cost- benefit analyses of rubella vaccine and five of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine as well as two cost-effectiveness analyses were found. For developing countries, five cost analyses and five cost-benefit analyses were found. All the cost-benefit analyses had a benefit:cost ratio greater than 1 and the cost-effectiveness studies indicated that rubella immunization was a cost-effective means of reducing the impact of congenital rubella syndrome. However, the methodologies were not standardized. CONCLUSION: The data support the inclusion of rubella vaccine in the immunization programmes of both developing and developed countries and indicate economic benefits comparable to those associated with hepatitis B vaccine and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine. More studies should be carried out on costs for care and immunization using standardized methodologies and locally obtained information.

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