Cost-effectiveness of live-attenuated influenza vaccination among school-age children

Natasha S. Wenzel*, Katherine E. Atkins, Edwin Van Leeuwen, M. Elizabeth Halloran, Marc Baguelin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The current pediatric vaccination program in England and Wales administers Live-Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) to children ages 2–16 years old. Annual administration of LAIV to this age group is costly and poses substantial logistical issues. This study aims to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of prioritizing vaccination to age groups within the 2–16 year old age range to mitigate the operational and resource challenges of the current strategy. We performed economic evaluations comparing the influenza vaccination program from 1995–2013 to seven alternative strategies targeted at low risk individuals along the school age divisions Preschool (2–4 years old), Primary school (5–11 years old), and Secondary school (12–16 years old). These extensions are evaluated incrementally on the status quo scenario (vaccinating subgroups at high risk of influenza-related complications and individuals 65+ years old). Impact of vaccination was assessed using a transmission model from a previously published study and updated with new data. At all levels of coverage, all strategies had a 100% probability of being cost-effective at the current National Health Service threshold, £20,000/QALY gained. The incremental analysis demonstrated vaccinating Primary School children was the most cost-efficient strategy compared incrementally against others with an Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio of £639 spent per QALY gained (Net Benefit: 404 M£ [155, 795]). When coverage was varied between 30%, 55%, and 70% strategies which included Primary school children had a higher probability of being cost-effective at lower willingness-to-pay levels. Although children were the vaccine target the majority of QALY gains occurred in the 25–44 years old and 65+ age groups. Influenza strain A/H3N2 incurred the greatest costs and QALYs lost regardless of which strategy was used. Improvement could be made to the current LAIV pediatric vaccination strategy by eliminating vaccination of 2–4 year olds and focusing on school-based delivery to Primary and Secondary school children in tandem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-456
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Influenza
  • Mathematical model
  • Paediatric vaccination
  • Seasonal influenza


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