Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
GUZMAN, Nelson Alvis; DE LA HOZ RESTREPO, Fernando and CONSUELO, David Vivas. The cost-effectiveness of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine for children under 2 years of age in Colombia. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.4, pp. 248-255. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892006000900005.
OBJECTIVE: Conjugate vaccines are the best public health tools available for preventing most invasive diseases caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), but the high cost of the vaccines has so far kept them from being introduced worldwide. The objective of this study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of introducing Hib conjugate vaccines for the prevention of meningitis and pneumonia among children under 2 years of age in Colombia. METHODS: We estimated the direct and indirect costs of managing in-hospital pneumonia and meningitis cases. In addition, following the recommendations of the World Health Organization, we assessed the cost-effectiveness of Hib vaccination programs. We also estimated the costs for preventing Hib cases, and the cost per year of life saved in two hypothetical situations: (1) with vaccination against Hib (with 90% coverage) and (2) without vaccination. RESULTS: The average in-hospital treatment costs were US$ 611.50 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) = US$ 532.2 to US$ 690.8) per case of pneumonia and US$ 848.9 (95% CI = US$ 716.8 to US$ 981.0) per case of meningitis. The average cost per Hib case prevented was US$ 316.7 (95% CI = US$ 294.2 to US$ 339.2). In terms of cost-effectiveness, the cost would be US$ 2.38 per year of life saved for vaccination, versus US$ 3.81 per year of life saved without vaccination. CONCLUSION: Having an adequate Hib vaccination program in Colombia could prevent around 25 000 cases of invasive disease per year, representing a cost savings of at least US$ 15 million annually. Furthermore, the program could prevent some 700 deaths per year and save 44 054 years of life per year.
Keywords : Haemophilus influenzae type b; immunization; health resources; cost-benefit analysis; Colombia.