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Int J Health Care Finance Econ. 2010 Mar;10(1):1-27. doi: 10.1007/s10754-009-9058-2. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

The distribution over time of costs and social net benefits for pertussis immunization programs.

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Institut d'Economie et de Management de Nantes-IAE, LEMNA, Université de Nantes, Chemin de la Censive du Tertre, BP 52241, Nantes, 44000, France.


The cost of a six-dose pertussis immunization programs for children and adolescents is investigated in relation to estimators of the price of acellular vaccine, the value of a child's life, levels of vaccination rate and discount rates. We compare the cost of the program maintained over time at 90% with three alternative strategies, each involving a decrease in vaccination coverage. Data from England and Wales, 1966-2005, is used to formalize a delay in occurrence of pertussis cases as a result of a fall in coverage. We first apply the criterion of minimization of the total social cost of pertussis to identify the best cost saving immunization strategy. The results are also discussed in form of the discounted present value of the total social net benefits. We find that the discounted present value of the total social net benefit is maximized when a stable vaccination program at 90% is compared to a gradual decrease in vaccination coverage leading to the lowest vaccination rate. The benefits to society of providing sustained immunization strategy, vaccinating the highest proportion of children and adolescents, are systematically proved on the basis of the second optimisation criterion, independently of the level of estimators applied during economic evaluation for the cost variables.

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