a1 Section of Public Health and Health Policy, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
a2 Drug Safety, Covance Inc., Maidenhead, UK
a3 Enteric Virus Unit, Enteric Respiratory and Neurological Virus Laboratory, Specialist and Reference Microbiology Division, Health Protection Agency, London, UK
a4 School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
Rotavirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in children aged <5 years old, two new vaccines have recently been developed which can prevent associated morbidity and mortality. While apparently safe and efficacious, it is also important to establish whether rotavirus immunization is cost effective. A decision analytical model which employs data from a review of published evidence is used to determine the cost effectiveness of a rotavirus vaccine. The results suggest that some of the health sector costs, and all of the societal costs, of rotavirus gastroenteritis in children can be avoided by an immunization programme. The additional cost to the health sector may be considered worthwhile if there is a sufficient improvement in the quality-of-life of children and parents affected by gastroenteritis; this study did not find any evidence of research which has measured the utility gains from vaccination.
(Accepted January 21 2007)
(Online publication March 05 2007)