Economic Evaluations of Influenza Vaccination in Healthy Working-Age Adults: Employer and Society Perspective
Susan C. Wood
Van Hung Nguyen
Objective: To determine what benefits to the employer and to society are associated with influenza (flu) vaccination in healthy adults. Design and methods: We performed a literature review concerning cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness evaluations of influenza vaccination in healthy, working-age adults. Up to the end of 1999, we found 6 published economic evaluations on the use of influenza vaccine in healthy, working-age adults: 3 prospective studies, 1 retrospective evaluation and 2 model-based simulations. Evaluations were performed from the perspective of an employer or society. Costs were reported in the local currency used in the published evaluation, with conversions into US dollars (when not provided in the article), for comparative purposes only, according to the exchange rates of June 8 1998. Main outcome measures and results: Estimations of the cost-benefit of vaccination, compared with a no vaccination strategy, varied widely from a net loss of $US106.59 per infection averted in one study to savings of varying sizes in the 5 others (savings ranged from $US2.58 per dollar invested to $US46.85 per vaccinee). Studies differed in the definition of illness and the measurement of costs associated with vaccination or illness. Conclusions: Decision makers have not yet extended existing vaccine recommendations to cover healthy, working-age adults, partly because of the disparity among economic studies in their methods of estimating costs and measuring effects. However, the published studies seem to suggest that influenza vaccination in the healthy, working adult would be a cost-effective health intervention, at least from the perspective of an employer.
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