The cost-effectiveness of varicella vaccination in Canada

M. Brisson*, William Edmunds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


A deterministic realistic age-structured model was used to predict the impact of vaccination on the incidence of varicella and zoster. Unit costs, estimated from literature, were applied to the predicted health outcomes. Various vaccination programs were investigated and a sensitivity analysis was performed. Assuming no impact of vaccination on zoster, varicella vaccination is estimated to cost $45,000, 51,000 and 18,000 per life-year gained from the health payer's perspective for infant, infant with catch-up campaign, and preteen programs, respectively. From the societal perspective, mass infant varicella vaccination was estimated to be highly cost saving in Canada. Importantly, infant varicella vaccination could result in a short- to medium-term increase of zoster incidence and thus cause vaccination to be highly cost-ineffective ($118,000 per life-year gained) under the health payer's perspective. From a health payer's perspective the preteen vaccination is the only strategy that is deemed cost-effective. The cost-effectiveness of infant vaccination rests heavily on the unknown relationship between varicella and zoster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1125
Number of pages13
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the UK Medical Research Council (Grant No. G981803). We would like to thank Nigel Gay, Dr. Ali McGuire, Dr. Elizabeth Miller, Dr. Gaston De Serres and Dr. Barbara Law for helpful discussions.


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Economic analysis
  • Mathematical-modeling
  • Varicella vaccine
  • VZV
  • Zoster


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