Cost-Effectiveness: Universal Mass Vaccination for Seasonal Influenza in U.S.

Value in Health
June 2011, Vol. 14, No. 4

Cost-Effectiveness of a Recommendation of Universal Mass Vaccination for Seasonal Influenza in the United States
Karen M. Clements, ScD; Jeremy Chancellor, MSc; Kristin Nichol, MD, MPH, MBA; Kelly DeLong; David Thompson, PhD
published online 06 June 2011.
We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of universal mass vaccination (UMV) against influenza compared with a targeted vaccine program (TVP) for selected age and risk groups in the United States.

We modeled costs and outcomes of seasonal influenza with UMV and TVP, taking a societal perspective. The US population was stratified to model age-specific (< 5, 5–17, 18–49, 50–64, and 65+ years) vaccine coverage and efficacy. Probability of influenza-related illness (ILI) and complications, health-care utilization, costs, and survival were estimated. For a season’s intervention, ILI cases in that year, lifetime costs (2008 US$), and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) lost (both discounted at 3% per annum) were calculated for each policy and used to derive incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. A range of sensitivity and alternative-scenario analyses were conducted.

In base-case analyses, TVP resulted in 63 million ILI cases, 859,000 QALYs lost, and $114.5 billion in direct and indirect costs; corresponding estimates for UMV were 61 million cases, 825,000 QALYs lost, and $111.4 billion. UMV was therefore estimated to dominate TVP, saving $3.1 billion and 34,000 QALYs. In probabilistic sensitivity analyses, UMV was dominant in 82% and dominated in 0% of iterations. In alternative-scenario analyses, UMV dominated TVP when lower estimates of vaccine coverage were used. Lower estimates of ILI risk among unvaccinated, vaccine effectiveness, and risk of complications resulted in ICERs of $2800, $8100, and $15,900 per QALY gained, respectively, for UMV compared with TVP.

UMV against seasonal influenza is cost saving in the United States under reasonable assumptions for coverage, cost, and efficacy.