The considerable financial burden that COVID-19 has placed on various health systems worldwide is significant. Vaccination programs, known to be safe and effective defenses against pandemic diseases, are pivotal in preventing and controlling epidemics. A systematic review has been conducted to provide economic evidence of the value of different types of vaccines available to combat COVID-19, aiming to inform health policymakers globally.
The review process included comprehensive electronic searches on Medline/PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, Embase, and other economic evaluation databases. The search, which included articles published up to March 2022, utilized keywords such as “Vaccination,” “COVID-19,” “Cost-benefit,” “Cost-utility,” “Cost-effectiveness,” “Economic Assessment,” and “Economic evaluation.” After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, relevant data were captured, and results were extracted from the most suitable articles. The quality of the articles was assessed by the checklist of CHEERS 2022, with a total of 13 articles being included in the review.
Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness and Societal Benefits of mRNA Vaccines in Combatting COVID-19
The review findings revealed that all messenger RNA vaccines were dominant, providing approximately 70% coverage against no vaccination in the primary vaccination program. However, one study that examined booster effects deviated from this trend. From a payer’s perspective, investing a dollar in a vaccine is less profitable than from a societal viewpoint. As a result, primary mass vaccination is suggested as a cost-effective intervention to save more lives and generate more positive externalities.
Furthermore, the cost-benefit ratio for all vaccines increases when the statistical lifetime value and global economic and educational disadvantages are factored in. It indicates that the economic advantages of vaccination extend beyond immediate health benefits, with broader societal implications to consider.
In conclusion, primary vaccination programs for COVID-19 in regional outbreaks will demonstrate substantial cost-effectiveness in the long term. Due to the positive externalities of vaccination, primary mass vaccination, supported by COVAX-19â„¢, is recommended as a reliable strategy to combat viral epidemics. This approach is compared to the cost of individual lives and the economic and educational disturbances experienced globally.
Original Article DOI: 10.1002/hsr2.1871
Original title: Economic evaluation of vaccination against COVID-19: A systematic review