Calls for a more flexible approach to vaccine funding

Nov 17, 2008

Including quality-of-life impacts in assessments of national vaccination programs would lead to many benefits, including improved productivity and less sick leave for parents, according to an editorial co-authored by a University of New South Wales (UNSW) researcher, that has appeared in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Such initiatives would also protect others in society, while getting the maximum impact of population vaccination programs.

The paper, co-authored by Professor Raina MacIntyre, head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW, argues that governments should take a broader perspective when considering whether to fund vaccines.

The editorial stresses the holistic assessment would be better in determining the cost-effectiveness of vaccines.

"The influenza vaccine is currently recommended for those who are 65 years and older and anyone over 50 with a chronic disease - but it could be even more cost-effective in children," said Professor MacIntyre.

"Children shed viruses for longer and at higher doses than adults do, which is why families with young children are often plagued with illness," explained Professor MacIntyre, who is the senior author of the paper.

The central argument of the editorial is that vaccinations should have different funding criteria from drugs.

"Vaccines have features that require special consideration when assessing their cost-effectiveness," the authors wrote. "These features are related to herd immunity, quality-of-life losses in young children, parental care and work loss, time preference, uncertainty, eradication, macroeconomics, and tiered pricing."

The paper looks at a range of vaccination programs which could be implemented in developed countries for diseases such as chickenpox, shingles and hepatitis A.

Source: University of New South Wales

Explore further: A new tool for detecting and destroying norovirus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google hits back at rivals with futuristic HQ plan

9 hours ago

Google unveiled plans Friday for a new campus headquarters integrating wildlife and sweeping waterways, aiming to make a big statement in Silicon Valley—which is already seeing ambitious projects from Apple ...

Recommended for you

A new tool for detecting and destroying norovirus

3 hours ago

Infection with highly contagious noroviruses, while not usually fatal, can lead to a slew of unpleasant symptoms such as excessive vomiting and diarrhea. Current treatment options are limited to rehydration of the patient. ...

History of epidemics informs modern science

7 hours ago

As well as telling us more about earlier societies, the study of diseases in the past is proving an invaluable tool for modern science, as a new book by the historian of medicine Mary Dobson reveals.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.