Economics and Vaccines

  • J. Bos
  • M. Postma
Reference work entry


Infectious diseases are an important cause of mortality and morbidity, causing approximately 27% of the total disease burden in  DALY. A large part of DALY lost due to infectious diseases could be prevented by improving existing vaccination programs for the population. Diseases such as  childhood cluster diseases, hepatitis A and B, respiratory infections caused by influenza, pneumococcal and meningococcal infections, and Hemophilus influenzae type B, are for a large part preventable by current vaccines.

The implementation of new vaccine programs or/and strategies is often a costly process with long term consequences. Vaccination programs often concern a large part of the population, and have a large budget impact. Once a vaccination program has started, it is (due to equity reasons) extremely difficult to cease the program. To gain a better understanding of the potential impact on health benefits and costs of a vaccine intervention, health-economic evaluations are frequently used, which estimate the future impact on health gains and costs. Health-economic evaluations are mostly presented as one of the following four types of analysis: cost-minimization, cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the main techniques and challenges associated with health economic evaluations of vaccination programs, such as the choice of the model. Additionally, an overview of health economic evaluations that have been performed on currently implemented vaccination strategies is presented. From our analysis it follows that vaccine programs, and especially those against childhood cluster diseases, and vaccination of elderly against influenza are amongst the world’s most cost-effective interventions.


Herpes Zoster Varicella Zoster Virus Influenza Vaccination Vaccination Program Pertussis Vaccine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


bacillus Calmette-Guérin


 cost benefit analysis


cost effectiveness analysis


cost minimization analysis


disability adjusted life year


diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and poliomyelitis


Hemophilus influenzae type b


human papilloma virus


inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine


measles, mumps and rubella


oral poliomyelitis vaccine


quality adjusted life year


willingness to pay


varicella zoster virus


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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Bos
  • M. Postma

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