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Vaccine. 2008 Apr 7;26(16):2034-40. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.02.008. Epub 2008 Feb 22.

Economics of polio vaccination in the post-eradication era: should OPV-using countries adopt IPV?

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  • 1Department of Health Systems Management, Tulane University School of Public Health, 1440 Canal Street, #1900, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


The continued use of oral polio vaccine (OPV) poses a threat to polio virus eradication. Stopping all polio vaccination in the post-certification era is no longer considered to be a practical option. Policy makers agree that OPV use must stop immediately after certification. Therefore, the pragmatic alternative is for the OPV-using countries to switch to IPV. This study estimates the cost of switching to IPV, and the cost-effectiveness of this switch. Using data on the number of polio cases and the number of unvaccinated children in different countries of the world, the risks of polio and polio outbreaks have been calculated. The current cost of routine and intensive OPV immunisation is about US $2143 million in the 148 OPV-using countries. Routine use of IPV in these countries should cost US $1246 million. If the current costs of routine and intensive polio immunisation are considered, adopting IPV to replace OPV will not increase the total global cost. Even if the cost of intensive polio immunisation is ignored, cost-effectiveness ratio of adopting IPV remains less than the average GNI per capita of OPV-using countries. The incremental cost of adopting IPV to replace OPV is relatively low, about US $1 per child per year, and most countries should be able to afford this additional cost.

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