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JAMA. 1983 Jun 17;249(23):3189-95.

Influenza vaccination.


Cost-effectiveness analysis was used to evaluate influenza vaccination. From 1971-1972 through 1977-1978, vaccination of an elderly person 65 years of age or older saved net medical care costs while improving health. Vaccination of younger high-risk adults aged 15 through 64 years also improved health for a low net cost per year of healthy life gained. By covering influenza vaccination during those years, the Medicare program would have incurred a net cost for each vaccination of $13 per year of healthy life gained for medical costs connected with influenza and $791 per year gained including costs of treating other illnesses in later life. The analysis indicates the need for epidemiologic research on the extent of influenza and the mechanism of its spread. The results also raise the issue of public policy to promote influenza vaccination among high-risk persons as a low-cost, preventive technology.


A detailed summary is provided of an influenza vaccination cost-effectiveness study done under the auspices of the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment. Among the factors considered were morbidity and mortality rates for five age groups and high-risk adults; annual costs of producing and administering the vaccine and treating side effects; costs of treating influenza patients; and health expenditures for extended years of life. Improved health and increased productivity from reduced work loss were counted as benefits of immunization. The positive findings of the study were offset by current low immunization rates, and the authors propose several methods to promote influenza vaccination.¿.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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