Immunization against Haemophilus Influenzae type B in Iran; cost-utility and cost-benefit analyses
Background: Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children. Although its burden is considerably preventable by vaccine, routine vaccination against Hib has not been defined in the National Immunization Program of Iran. This study was performed to assess the cost-benefit and cost-utility of running an Hib vaccination program in Iran. Methods: Based on a previous systematic review and meta-analysis for vaccine efficacy, we estimated the averted DALYs (Disability adjusted life years) and cost-benefit of vaccination. Different acute invasive forms of Hib infection and the permanent sequels were considered for estimating the attributed DALYs. We used a societal perspective for economic evaluation and included both direct and indirect costs of alternative options about vaccination. An annual discount rate of 3% and standard age-weighting were used for estimation. To assess the robustness of the results, a sensitivity analysis was performed. Results: The incidence of Hib infection was estimated 43.0 per 100000, which can be reduced to 6.7 by vaccination. Total costs of vaccination were estimated at US$ 15,538,129. Routine vaccination of the 2008 birth cohort would prevent 4079 DALYs at a cost per averted-DALY of US$ 4535. If we consider parents' loss of income and future productivity loss of children, it would save US$ 8,991,141, with a benefit-cost ratio of 2.14 in the base-case analysis. Sensitivity analysis showed a range of 0.78 to 3.14 for benefit-to-cost ratios. Conclusion: Considering costs per averted DALY, vaccination against Hib is a cost-effective health intervention in Iran, and allocating resources for routine vaccination against Hib seems logical.