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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

QUEZADA, Arnoldo; BARON-PAPILLON, Florence; COUDEVILLE, Laurent  and  MAGGI, Leonardo. Universal vaccination of children against hepatitis a in Chile: a cost-effectiveness study. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.23, n.5, pp. 303-312. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892008000500002.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the healthcare and economic impact of routine hepatitis A vaccination of toddlers in Chile. METHODS: We used a dynamic model of hepatitis A infection to evaluate the impact of a two-dose vaccination program, administered at ages 12 and 18 months. The model incorporated the changing epidemiology of hepatitis A in Chile and the development of vaccine-induced herd immunity. Our analysis was conducted from the public payer perspective, and an estimation of the societal perspective was performed. Costs are expressed in 2005 U.S. dollars. RESULTS: Vaccination of toddlers rapidly reduced the healthcare burden of hepatitis A. In the base case (95% vaccination coverage, 100-year time horizon, 1% annual decrease in force of infection), the average number of infections fell by 76.6% annually, and associated deaths fell by 59.7%. Even at 50% coverage, the program reduced infection rates substantially. Routine vaccination of toddlers had economic as well as health benefits, saving $4 984 per life-year gained (base case scenario). The program became cost saving after 6 years, and its overall cost-effectiveness per life-year gained was largely unaffected by changes in disease-related costs, herd immunity, coverage rate, and annual decrease in force of infection. CONCLUSIONS: Routine vaccination of toddlers will reduce the rates of symptomatic hepatitis A and associated mortality. The two-dose schedule evaluated here will be less expensive than disease-related costs in the absence of vaccination from the sixth year of its implementation. These findings support the establishment of a routine vaccination program for toddlers in Chile.

Keywords : Vaccination; hepatitis A; cost effectiveness; Chile.

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