The cost-effectiveness of influenza vaccination of healthy adults 50-64 years of age.
ABSTRACT Influenza can cause significant morbidity and mortality. Influenza vaccination is an effective and safe strategy in the prevention of influenza. Currently the National Health Service (NHS) vaccinates 'at-risk' individuals only. This definition includes everyone over 65 years of age but excludes individuals 50-64 years of age unless they have an additional risk factor, such as underlying heart disease or lung disease. In order to examine the cost-effectiveness of an extension of the vaccination policy to include this age group we constructed an economic model to estimate the costs and benefits of vaccination from both a health service and a societal perspective. Data to populate the model was obtained from the literature and the outcome measure used was the quality adjusted life year (QALY). Influenza vaccination prevented an estimated 4508 cases (95% CI: 2431-7606) per 100,000 vaccinees per influenza season for a net cost to the NHS of pound653,221 (95% CI: 354,575-1,072,257). The net cost increased to pound1,139,069 (95% CI 27,052-2,030,473) when non-NHS costs were included and the estimated cost-per-QALY were pound6174 and pound10,766 for NHS and all costs respectively. Extension of the current immunisation policy has the potential to generate a significant health benefit at a comparatively low cost.
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