The cost-effectiveness of one time vaccination of all persons aged 14 months to 18 years (catch-up programme) and of routine childhood immunisation at either ages 2 + 3 + 4 months, 5 + 6 months, or 14 months with a meningococcal C conjugate vaccine was estimated for The Netherlands, from a societal and a health care payer perspective.
A decision analysis cohort model was employed (time horizon 77 years), direct and indirect costs (friction cost method) were considered and future costs and effects were discounted at 4%. The results showed that all vaccination options yield a substantial health gain and that the catch-up programme and routine vaccination at 14 months render favourable cost-effectiveness ratios: between about euro 13,200 and euro 17,700 per life year gained for the catch-up programme and between about euro 2200 and euro 2400 per life year gained for routine childhood vaccination at 14 months, depending on the perspective. In comparison to vaccination at 14 months, routine childhood vaccination during the first year of life is much less cost-effective: each additional life year gained costs approximately euro 147,000 (2 + 3 + 4 months) or euro 102,000 (5 + 6 months), from both perspectives. Additionally, inclusion of the likely herd immunity effect of the catch-up programme increases these incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. These results played a major role in the decision to add meningococcal C vaccination to the routine childhood immunisation schedule at 14 months and to implement a catch-up vaccination programme in The Netherlands in 2002. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- meningococcal vaccination
- economic evaluation