The potential cost-effectiveness of acellular pertussis booster vaccination in England and Wales

W. John Edmunds*, Marc Brisson, Alessia Melegaro, Nigel J. Gay

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    65 Citations (Scopus)


    A cost-effectiveness analysis of the introduction of acellular pertussis booster doses at either 4 or 15 years of age was performed. A transmission dynamic model was used to predict the level of indirect protection in those too young to be vaccinated. Multivariate sensitivity analyses were performed. In England and Wales there are an estimated 35,000 general practitioner (GP) consultations, 5500 inpatient days, and nine deaths annually attributable to pertussis, despite high levels of coverage for the primary course (∼95%). Around 80% of the bed-days and 90% of the deaths occur in those too young to be immunised (<3 months of age). The introduction of acellular booster doses at 4 years is expected to reduce morbidity and mortality in the younger age groups by 40-100%, and at 15 years by 0-100%. From the perspective of the health care provider, roughly 50% of the simulations result in a cost per life-year gained of less than £10,000 for vaccination at 4 years, the corresponding proportion for vaccination at 15 years being only 35%. Apart from the degree of indirect protection the model was most sensitive to the discount rate, the price of the vaccine, and the mortality rate. Significant uncertainty remains regarding the epidemiology of pertussis and the impact of booster doses. Nevertheless, the introduction of acellular boosters, particularly at 4 years, has the potential to be cost-effective in the UK.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1316-1330
    Number of pages15
    Issue number9-10
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2002

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    We thank Natasha Crowcroft and Elizabeth Miller for advice and for providing the results of unpublished studies and Pauline Kaye for data extraction. The study was funded by a grant from the Medical Research Council (grant no. G9818303).


    • Acellular vaccine
    • Economic evaluation
    • Pertussis


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