a1 Medical Directorate, British Army of the Rhine
a2 University of Pavia
a3 Royal Army Medical College, London
The costs and benefits of vaccinating troops on United Nations tours in Yugoslavia against hepatitis A were compared. The marginal cost of one case of hepatitis A avoided by vaccination was calculated and compared with the marginal cost of achieving the same outcome by passive immunization. The cost-benefit ratio (medium estimate) for troops at low risk of contracting hepatitis A was 0.01 and for those at high risk was 0.03.
Vaccinating troops against hepatitis A for a single deployment appears to be an inefficient procedure, especially in troops at low risk. However, in professional troops from countries of low hepatitis A endemicity who are likely to be involved in several operational deployments, vaccination becomes more efficient the more times the same troops are deployed.