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Health Econ. 2001 Dec;10(8):751-74.

Economic evaluations of hepatitis B immunization: a global review of recent studies (1994-2000).

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Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination, WHO Collaborating Centre for the Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis, Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.


A search was carried out for economic evaluations of hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination, published between 1994 and 2000. The results of these studies are discussed according to the level of HBV endemicity. The great majority of these evaluations were carried out for industrialized countries, for the most part situated in areas of low to very low HBV endemicity. In countries of very low endemicity economic evaluations have yielded contradictory results, depending on the type of epidemiological model they used. The cost-effectiveness of adding universal to selective vaccination strategies in these countries depends on the selective strategies' ability to sufficiently identify, reach and fully vaccinate persons in various risk groups. In areas of low, intermediate and high endemicity, universal vaccination seems justifiable on the basis of economic evaluation. In general, the accuracy of the models has improved over the years, but still the transparency, completeness and comparability of analyses could improve considerably. By noting this, the suitability of different methodologies for different areas of endemicity and vaccination strategies is discussed. It is recommended that specific guidelines for economic evaluation of the prevention of infectious diseases be developed to guarantee the relevance of and to improve the comparability between studies.

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