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Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses
First published: 6 April 2018
The potential economic value of influenza vaccination for healthcare workers in the Netherlands
MJ Meijboom, J Riphagen-Dalhuisen, E Hak
Despite the clinical evidence, influenza vaccination coverage of healthcare workers remains low. To assess the health economic value of implementing an influenza immunization program among healthcare workers (HCW) in University Medical Centers (UMCs) in the Netherlands, a cost-benefit model was developed using a societal perspective.The model was based on a trial performed among all UMCs in the Netherlands that included both hospital staff as well as patients admitted to the pediatrics and internal medicine departments. The model structure and parameters estimates was based on the trial and complemented with literature research, and the impact of uncertainty explored with sensitivity analyses.In a base-case scenario without vaccine coverage, influenza related annual costs were estimated at € 410,815 for an average UMC with 8,000 HCWs and an average occupancy during the influenza period of 6,000 hospitalized patients. Of these costs, 82% attributed to the HCWs and 18% were patient related. With a vaccination coverage of 15.47%, the societal program’s savings were € 2,861 which corresponds to a saving of € 270.53 per extended hospitalization. Univariate sensitivity analyses show that the results are most sensitive to changes in the model parameters vaccine effectiveness in reducing influenza-like-illness (ILI) and the vaccination-related costs.In addition to the decreased burden of patient morbidity among hospitalized patients, the effects of the hospital immunization program slightly outweigh the economic investments. These outcomes may support healthcare policy makers’ recommendations about the influenza vaccination program for healthcare workers.