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Archivos argentinos de pediatría

Print version ISSN 0325-0075On-line version ISSN 1668-3501


PENA BLASCO, Guillermo  and  JESUS BLASCO PEREZ-ARAMENDIA, M. A cost-benefit analysis of varicella vaccination in Aragón. Arch. argent. pediatr. [online]. 2017, vol.115, n.5, pp.432-438. ISSN 0325-0075.

Background. Varicella, a contagious and infectious disease that is usually benign in children, may become complicated among adults and vulnerable children and may even be life-threatening. There are effective vaccines. A retrospective study was conducted about costs and resulting hospitalizations related to this disease in the population of Aragón in the 2004-2014 period. Costs were compared to the expenses that would have been incurred if those people had received the vaccine and also to the expenses of vaccinating the 1-year-old population over the entire period. A cost-benefit analysis was done to assess the economic impact of varicella vaccination. Method. Data for the 11-year period were provided by the Autonomous Community of Aragón (Spain) and included annual varicella incidence, hospital discharges of varicella cases, costs of primary health care visits and hospitalizations for each year, costs of each workday as per the minimum annual salary and of drugs used). Capitalized costs were estimated and compared to capitalized expenses of vaccination, and a sensitivity analysis was performed. Results. A benefit-cost ratio of 1.6 was obtained considering that all children who had varicella had been vaccinated and had received a booster dose. A benefit-cost ratio of 1.24 was obtained considering that the vaccine had been administered to every 1-year-old individual at a price of EUR 28.59 per vaccine. Over the 11-year period, 53% of hospitalizations corresponded to children younger than 5 years old. Conclusions. Public campaigns for the immunization of children younger than 4 years old with 2 doses lead to cost savings and are cost-effective because the vaccine price results in a benefit-cost ratio greater than 1. A major reduction is expected in the number of hospitalizations among children aged 3-4 years.

Keywords : Varicella; Vaccines; Cost-benefit analysis; Economy in health care and organizations.

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