The cost-effectiveness of varicella and combined varicella and herpes zoster vaccination programmes in the United Kingdom.

Immunisation, Hepatitis and Blood Safety Department, Health Protection Agency, LondonNW9 5EQ, UK.
Vaccine (Impact Factor: 3.77). 11/2011; 30(6):1225-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.11.026
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite the existence of varicella vaccine, many developed countries have not introduced it into their national schedules, partly because of concerns about whether herpes zoster (HZ, shingles) will increase due to a lack of exogenous boosting. The magnitude of any increase in zoster that might occur is dependent on rates at which adults and children mix - something that has only recently been quantified - and could be reduced by simultaneously vaccinating older individuals against shingles. This study is the first to assess the cost-effectiveness of combined varicella and zoster vaccination options and compare this to alternative programmes.
The cost-effectiveness of various options for the use of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) containing vaccines was explored using a transmission dynamic model. Underlying contact rates are estimated from a contemporary survey of social mixing patterns, and uncertainty in these derived from bootstrapping the original sample. The model was calibrated to UK data on varicella and zoster incidence. Other parameters were taken from the literature. UK guidance on perspective and discount rates were followed. The results of the incremental cost-effectiveness analysis suggest that a combined policy is cost-effective. However, the cost-effectiveness of this policy (and indeed the childhood two-dose policy) is influenced by projected benefits that accrue many decades (80-100 years or more) after the start of vaccination. If the programme is evaluated over shorter time frames, then it would be unlikely to be deemed cost-effective, and may result in declines in population health, due to a projected rise in the incidence of HZ. The findings are also sensitive to a number of parameters that are inaccurately quantified, such as the risk of HZ in varicella vaccine responders.
Policy makers should be aware of the potential negative benefits in the first 30-50 years after introduction of a childhood varicella vaccine. This can only be partly mitigated by the introduction of a herpes zoster vaccine. They have to decide how they value the potential benefits beyond this time to consider childhood vaccination cost effective.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to estimate total and age-specific incidence rates of HZ with data from electronic clinical records in primary care (ECRPC) and to analyze trends by sex and age. Descriptive cross-sectional study covering the incident HZ episodes registered in the ECRPC of the Madrid Regional Public Health System in 2005-2012. Annual crude and age-adjusted incidence rates were calculated. Differences by sex and age were assessed by poisson regression. The annual percentage of change (APC) of incidence rates and 'breakthrough points' of the time trends were determined with the Joinpoint Regression Program. 211,650 episodes of HZ were identified (60.6% women, 52.2% > 55 years). The incidence rate increased from 363.21 to 481.92 per 100,000 person-year in 2005-2012. Rates were higher among women and increased with age. The APC for the period was 3.59% in men and 3.67% in women (p<0.05). Age-specific rates increased in patients over 14 years. The APC in the 25-44 age group was 7.4% since 2007. The incidence rate ratio (women/men) was highest in this group. The incidence of HZ presents an upward trend in 2005-2012 in adults and the elderly. Monitoring the incidence and age-specific rates, will help to detect changes in trends.
    The Journal of infection 11/2013; · 4.13 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Modeling plays a major role in policy making, especially for infectious disease interventions but such models can be complex and computationally intensive. A more systematic exploration is needed to gain a thorough systems understanding. We present an active learning approach based on machine learning techniques as iterative surrogate modeling and model-guided experimentation to systematically analyze both common and edge manifestations of complex model runs. Symbolic regression is used for nonlinear response surface modeling with automatic feature selection. First, we illustrate our approach using an individual-based model for influenza vaccination. After optimizing the parameter space, we observe an inverse relationship between vaccination coverage and cumulative attack rate reinforced by herd immunity. Second, we demonstrate the use of surrogate modeling techniques on input-response data from a deterministic dynamic model, which was designed to explore the cost-effectiveness of varicella-zoster virus vaccination. We use symbolic regression to handle high dimensionality and correlated inputs and to identify the most influential variables. Provided insight is used to focus research, reduce dimensionality and decrease decision uncertainty. We conclude that active learning is needed to fully understand complex systems behavior. Surrogate models can be readily explored at no computational expense, and can also be used as emulator to improve rapid policy making in various settings.
    PLoS Computational Biology 04/2014; 10(4):e1003563. · 4.87 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to systematically review cost-effectiveness studies of vaccination against herpes zoster (HZ) and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE databases for eligible studies published prior to November 2013. We extracted information regarding model structure, model input parameters, and study results. We compared the results across studies by projecting the health and economic impacts of vaccinating one million adults over their lifetimes. We identified 15 cost-effectiveness studies performed in North America and Europe. Results ranged from approximately US$10,000 to more than US$100,000 per quality-adjusted life years (QALY) gained. Most studies in Europe concluded that zoster vaccination is likely to be cost-effective. Differences in results among studies are largely due to differing assumptions regarding duration of vaccine protection and a loss in quality of life associated with HZ and to a larger extent, PHN. Moreover, vaccine efficacy against PHN, age at vaccination, and vaccine cost strongly influenced the results in sensitivity analyses. Most studies included in this review shows that vaccination against HZ is likely to be cost-effective. Future research addressing key model parameters and cost-effectiveness studies in other parts of the world are needed.
    Vaccine 02/2014; · 3.77 Impact Factor