Cost-effectiveness of varicella and herpes zoster vaccination in Sweden: An economic evaluation using a dynamic transmission model

Ellen Wolff, Katarina Widgren, Gianpaolo Scalia Tomba, Adam Roth, Tiia Lep, Sören Andersson, Georges M.G.M. Verjans
2021 PLoS ONE  
Objectives Comprehensive cost-effectiveness analyses of introducing varicella and/or herpes zoster vaccination in the Swedish national vaccination programme. Design Cost-effectiveness analyses based on epidemiological results from a specifically developed transmission model. Setting National vaccination programme in Sweden, over an 85- or 20-year time horizon depending on the vaccination strategy. Participants Hypothetical cohorts of people aged 12 months and 65-years at baseline. Interventions
more » ... Four alternative vaccination strategies; 1, not to vaccinate; 2, varicella vaccination with one dose of the live attenuated vaccine at age 12 months and a second dose at age 18 months; 3, herpes zoster vaccination with one dose of the live attenuated vaccine at 65 years of age; and 4, both vaccine against varicella and herpes zoster with the before-mentioned strategies. Main outcome measures Accumulated cost and quality-adjusted life years (QALY) for each strategy, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER). Results It would be cost-effective to vaccinate against varicella (dominant), but not to vaccinate against herpes zoster (ICER of EUR 200,000), assuming a cost-effectiveness threshold of EUR 50,000 per QALY. The incremental analysis between varicella vaccination only and the combined programme results in a cost per gained QALY of almost EUR 1.6 million. Conclusions The results from this study are central components for policy-relevant decision-making, and suggest that it was cost-effective to introduce varicella vaccination in Sweden, whereas herpes zoster vaccination with the live attenuated vaccine for the elderly was not cost-effective–the health effects of the latter vaccination cannot be considered reasonable in relation to its costs. Future observational and surveillance studies are needed to make reasonable predictions on how boosting affects the herpes zoster incidence in the population, and thus the cost-effectiveness of a vaccination programme against varicella. Also, the link between herpes zoster and sequelae need to be studied in more detail to include it suitably in health economic evaluations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0251644 pmid:33984060 fatcat:cahl5cingnbxzhpxkvx4aetrae