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Bull World Health Organ. 2003;81(5):334-42. Epub 2003 Jul 7.

Cost-effectiveness of routine immunization to control Japanese encephalitis in Shanghai, China.

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School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.



To assess the cost-effectiveness of inactivated and live attenuated Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccines given to infants and children in Shanghai.


A decision-analytical model was constructed in order to compare costs and outcomes for three hypothetical cohorts of 100,000 children followed from birth in 1997 to the age of 30 years who received either no JE vaccine, inactivated JE vaccine (P3), or live attenuated JE vaccine (SA 14-14-2). Cumulative incidences of JE from birth to 30 years of age in the pre-immunization era, i.e. before 1968, were used to estimate expected rates of JE in the absence of vaccination. The economic consequences were measured as cost per case, per death, and per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted for the two JE immunization programmes.


In comparison with no JE immunization, a programme using the P3 vaccine would prevent 420 JE cases and 105 JE deaths and would save 6456 DALYs per 100,000 persons; the use of the SA 14-14-2 vaccine would prevent 427 cases and 107 deaths and would save 6556 DALYs per 100,000 persons. Both kinds of immunization were cost saving but the SA 14-14-2 vaccine strategy resulted in a saving that was 47% greater (512,456 US dollars) than that obtained with the P3 vaccine strategy (348,246 US dollars).


Both JE immunization strategies resulted in cost savings in comparison with no JE immunization. This provides a strong economic rationale for vaccinating against JE in Shanghai and suggests that vaccination against JE might be economically justifiable in other parts of China and in certain other developing countries of Asia where the disease is endemic.

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