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Researchers Explore Pre-Pandemic Influenza Vaccination Cost-Effectiveness

A vaccine matched to a newly emerged pandemic influenza virus would require a production time of at least 6 months with current proven techniques, and so could only be used reactively after the peak of the pandemic. A pre-pandemic vaccine, although probably having lower efficacy, could be produced and used pre-emptively. While several previous studies have investigated the cost-effectiveness of pre-emptive vaccination strategies, they have not been directly compared to realistic reactive vaccination strategies.

An individual-based simulation model of ~30,000 people was used to examine a pre-emptive vaccination strategy, assuming vaccination conducted prior to a pandemic using a low-efficacy vaccine. A reactive vaccination strategy, assuming a six-month delay between pandemic emergence and availability of a high-efficacy vaccine, was also modelled. Social distancing and antiviral interventions were examined in combination with these alternative vaccination strategies. Moderate and severe pandemics were examined, based on estimates of transmissibility and clinical severity of the 1957 and 1918 pandemics respectively, and the cost effectiveness of each strategy was evaluated.
 
 

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