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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6267343, 8 pages
Research Article

Identification and Prioritization of the Economic Impacts of Vaccines

1CAPHRI, School of Public Health and Primary Care, Department of Health Services Research, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands
2Initiative for Vaccine Research, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Received 3 June 2016; Accepted 24 October 2016

Academic Editor: Kumud K. Kafle

Copyright © 2016 Ingeborg M. van der Putten et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Understanding the most important economic impacts of vaccines can provide relevant information to stakeholders when selecting vaccine immunization strategies from a broader perspective. This study was therefore designed to first identify economic impacts to vaccinated individuals and, second, assess the relative importance of these economic impacts. A four-step approach was used, including a review of the literature, a pilot study, and expert consultation. As a fourth step, a survey utilizing a best-worst scaling was conducted among 26 different stakeholders to assess the relative importance of the identified economic impacts. In each of the 15 choice tasks, participants were asked to choose the most important and the least important economic impact from a set of four from the master list. We identified 23 economic impacts relevant for vaccine introduction. Four domains were identified, namely, health related benefits to vaccinated individuals, short- and long-term productivity gains, community or health systems externalities, and broader economic indicators. The first domain was seen as especially important with mortality, health care expenditure, and morbidity ranking in the top three overall. In conclusion, our study suggests that domain A “health related benefits to vaccinated individuals” are valued as more important than the other economic impacts.