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Value Health. 2005 May-Jun;8(3):209-22.

The economic value of childhood varicella vaccination in France and Germany.

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CRESGE-LABORES, Catholic University of Lille, France.



To determine the economic impact of childhood varicella vaccination in France and Germany.


A common methodology based on the use of a varicella transmission model was used for the two countries. Cost data (2002 per thousand) were derived from two previous studies. The analysis focused on a routine vaccination program for which three different coverage rates (CRs) were considered (90%, 70%, and 45%). Catch-up strategies were also analyzed. A societal perspective including both direct and indirect costs and a third-party payer perspective were considered (Social Security in France and Sickness Funds in Germany).


A routine vaccination program has a clear positive impact on varicella-related morbidity in both countries. With a 90% CR, the number of varicella-related deaths was reduced by 87% in Germany and by 84% in France. In addition, with a CR of 90%, routine varicella vaccination induces savings in both countries from both societal (Germany 61%, France 60%) and third-party payer perspectives (Germany 51%, France 6.7%). For lower CRs, routine vaccination remains cost saving from a third-party payer perspective in Germany but not in France, where it is nevertheless cost-effective (cost per life-year gained of 6521 per thousand in the base case with a 45% CR).


Considering the impact of vaccination on varicella morbidity and costs, a routine varicella vaccination program appears to be cost saving in Germany and France from both a societal and a third-party payer perspective. For France, routine varicella vaccination remains cost-effective in worst cases when a third-party payer perspective is adopted. Catch-up programs provide additional savings.

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