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Cost-Effectiveness of Monovalent Rotavirus Vaccination of Infants in Malawi: A Postintroduction Analysis Using Individual Patient–Level Costing Data
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  • Pubmed ID:
    27059360
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC4825884
  • Description:
    Rotavirus vaccination reduces childhood hospitalization in Africa, but cost-effectiveness has not been determined using real-world effectiveness and costing data. We sought to determine monovalent rotavirus vaccine cost-effectiveness in Malawi, one of Africa's poorest countries and the first Gavi-eligible country to report disease reduction following introduction in 2012.|This was a prospective cohort study of children with acute gastroenteritis at a rural primary health center, a rural first referral-level hospital and an urban regional referral hospital in Malawi. For each participant we itemized household costs of illness and direct medical expenditures incurred. We also collected Ministry of Health vaccine implementation costs. Using a standard tool (TRIVAC), we derived cost-effectiveness.|Between 1 January 2013 and 21 November 2014, we recruited 530 children aged <5 years with gastroenteritis. Costs did not differ by rotavirus test result, but were significantly higher for admitted children and those with increased severity on Vesikari scale. Adding rotavirus vaccine to the national schedule costs Malawi $0.42 per dose in system costs. Vaccine copayment is an additional $0.20. Over 20 years, the vaccine program will avert 1 026 000 cases of rotavirus gastroenteritis, 78 000 inpatient admissions, 4300 deaths, and 136 000 disability-adjusted-life-years (DALYs). For this year's birth cohort, it will avert 54 000 cases of rotavirus and 281 deaths in children aged <5 years. The program will cost $10.5 million and save $8.0 million in averted healthcare costs. Societal cost per DALY averted was $10, and the cost per rotavirus case averted was $1.|Gastroenteritis causes substantial economic burden to Malawi. The rotavirus vaccine program is highly cost-effective. Together with the demonstrated impact of rotavirus vaccine in reducing population hospitalization burden, its cost-effectiveness makes a strong argument for widespread utilization in other low-income, high-burden settings.

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