Cost containment analysis of childhood vaccination against varicella in Israel

G. M. Ginsberg, E. Somekh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. The low cost of safe and effective vaccines prompted a cost-containment evaluation of a nationwide vaccination campaign against varicella. Methods. A model incorporating demographic, epidemiologic and economic data from Israeli sources (supplemented by data from International literature) was constructed to estimate the decrease in morbidity and the consequent reductions in treatment costs and time-off work of a nationwide programme vaccinating children at 12 months. Results. A policy of aiming to immunize a cohort of all 1-year-olds in Israel in the year 2002, for an annual cost of $1.10 million to the health services and $1.27 million to society (including lost work and transport costs), would reduce the number of cases of varicella during the lifetime of a cohort from 123,984 to 10,170 cases. This morbidity reduction would reduce national expenditures by $1.80 million in health service resources alone and by $24.5 million to society, mainly due to inaverted work absences. In addition an estimated 0.93 lives, representing 38.6 life years will be saved in the cohort. Conclusions. Under an assumption of neutrality relating to the potential effects of vaccination on herpes zoster virus, our model based calculations show that a national varicella vaccination programme is likely to be cost saving, not only from a societal perspective but also from the narrower health service perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-133
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Cost-containment analysis
  • Vaccination
  • Varicella


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