Routine Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Cost-Effective

July 18, 2008

Routine vaccination of 12-year-old girls against human papillomavirus, combined with an initial catch-up campaign to cover girls up to the age of 18, would likely be cost-effective, according to research published online July 17 in BMJ.

FRIDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Routine vaccination of 12-year-old girls against human papillomavirus, combined with an initial catch-up campaign to cover girls up to the age of 18, would likely be cost-effective, according to research published online July 17 in BMJ.

Mark Jit, of the Health Protection Agency in London, U.K., and colleagues analyzed data on the cost of vaccinating all U.K. schoolgirls aged 12 and older to establish the costs, quality-adjusted life years and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of a range of vaccination options.

At a willingness-to-pay threshold of £30,000 (US$59,163) per quality-adjusted life year gained, 80 percent coverage of 12 year-old girls with a quadrivalent vaccine is cost-effective, assuming duration of protection of more than 10 years. A catch-up campaign to cover girls up to the age of 18 is also likely to be cost-effective, but vaccinating boys is not, the investigators note.

"With the adoption of human papillomavirus vaccination in the United Kingdom and other countries, some of the other aspects of the clinical course of human papillomavirus should become apparent," the authors write. "High-quality surveillance combined with mathematical models will, however, be needed to help disentangle the complex epidemiological patterns that are likely to emerge after immunization. Refinement of these mathematical and economic models will be necessary to help optimize screening and vaccination programs in the future."

One study co-author disclosed that his partner works for GlaxoSmithKline.

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