Cost-effectiveness of a recommendation of universal mass vaccination for seasonal influenza in the United States

Karen M. Clements, Jeremy Chancellor, Kristin Nichol, Kelly Delong, David Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objectives: We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of universal mass vaccination (UMV) against influenza compared with a targeted vaccine program (TVP) for selected age and risk groups in the United States. Methods: We modeled costs and outcomes of seasonal influenza with UMV and TVP, taking a societal perspective. The US population was stratified to model age-specific (< 5, 517, 1849, 5064, and 65+ years) vaccine coverage and efficacy. Probability of influenza-related illness (ILI) and complications, health-care utilization, costs, and survival were estimated. For a season's intervention, ILI cases in that year, lifetime costs (2008 US$), and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) lost (both discounted at 3% per annum) were calculated for each policy and used to derive incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. A range of sensitivity and alternative-scenario analyses were conducted. Results: In base-case analyses, TVP resulted in 63 million ILI cases, 859,000 QALYs lost, and $114.5 billion in direct and indirect costs; corresponding estimates for UMV were 61 million cases, 825,000 QALYs lost, and $111.4 billion. UMV was therefore estimated to dominate TVP, saving $3.1 billion and 34,000 QALYs. In probabilistic sensitivity analyses, UMV was dominant in 82% and dominated in 0% of iterations. In alternative-scenario analyses, UMV dominated TVP when lower estimates of vaccine coverage were used. Lower estimates of ILI risk among unvaccinated, vaccine effectiveness, and risk of complications resulted in ICERs of $2800, $8100, and $15,900 per QALY gained, respectively, for UMV compared with TVP. Conclusions: UMV against seasonal influenza is cost saving in the United States under reasonable assumptions for coverage, cost, and efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)800-811
Number of pages12
JournalValue in Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • cost-effectiveness analysis
  • influenza vaccination


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