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Vaccine. 2010 Mar 8;28(11):2356-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.06.035. Epub 2009 Jun 28.

WHO Guide for standardisation of economic evaluations of immunization programmes.

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  • 1Health Economics, Health Systems Program, Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Traditional EPI vaccines are considered to be among the most efficient uses of scarce health care resources. Today, there are many under-used and new vaccines available. In the short- to medium-term, these vaccines will not cost the few cents per dose the traditional vaccines do, but will be 'multi-dollar' vaccines. Decision-makers will need information, among other things, on their relative cost-effectiveness. A number of reviews have indicated that there is scope for improving the transparency, completeness and comparability of economic evaluations of vaccination programmes. Thus, there is a need to improve the quality of economic evaluations of vaccination programmes. Adherence to general guidelines would increase the quality, interpretability and transferability of future analyses. However, there is reason to believe that there might also be a need for more specific advice for vaccination programmes. For example, there are inconsistencies in the methods used to estimate the future benefits of vaccination programmes and the relative efficiency of these programmes can be sensitive to some of the more controversial aspects of general guidelines, such as the inclusion of indirect costs and the discounting of health outcomes. This guide has been developed in order to meet the needs of decision-makers for relevant, reliable and consistent economic information. They aim to provide clear and concise, practical and high quality guidance for those who conduct economic evaluations.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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