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PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e27777. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027777. Epub 2011 Dec 19.

Community-based values for 2009 pandemic influenza A H1N1 illnesses and vaccination-related adverse events.

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  • 1Ph.D. Program in Health Policy, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America.



To evaluate community-based values for avoiding pandemic influenza (A) H1N1 (pH1N1) illness and vaccination-related adverse events in adults and children.


Adult community members were randomly selected from a nationally representative research panel to complete an internet survey (response rate = 65%; n = 718). Respondents answered a series of time trade-off questions to value four hypothetical health state scenarios for varying ages (1, 8, 35, or 70 years): uncomplicated pH1N1 illness, pH1N1 illness-related hospitalization, severe allergic reaction to the pH1N1 vaccine, and Guillain-Barré syndrome. We calculated descriptive statistics for time trade-off amounts and derived quality adjusted life year losses for these events. Multivariate regression analyses evaluated the effect of scenario age, as well as respondent socio-demographic and health characteristics on time trade-off amounts.


Respondents were willing to trade more time to avoid the more severe outcomes, hospitalization and Guillain-Barré syndrome. In our adjusted and unadjusted analyses, age of the patient in the scenario was significantly associated with time trade-off amounts (p-value<0.05), with respondents willing to trade more time to prevent outcomes in children versus adults. Persons who had received the pH1N1 vaccination were willing to trade significantly more time to avoid hospitalization, severe allergic reaction, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, controlling for other variables in adjusted analyses.(p-value<0.05)


Community members placed the highest value on preventing outcomes in children, compared with adults, and the time trade-off values reported were consistent with the severity of the outcomes presented. Considering these public values along with other decision-making factors may help policy makers improve the allocation of pandemic vaccine resources.

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