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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 71-77
Original Article

Cost Effectiveness of Infant Vaccination for Rotavirus in Canada

Doug Coyle,1 Kathryn Coyle,2 Julie A Bettinger,3 Scott A Halperin,4 Wendy Vaudry,5 David W Scheifele,3 and Nicole Le Saux6

1Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada
2Applied Health Economics Research Unit, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
3Vaccine Evaluation Center, BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
4Canadian Center for Vaccinology, IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
5Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
6Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


INTRODUCTION: Rotavirus is the main cause of gastroenteritis in Canadian children younger than five years of age, resulting in significant morbidity and cost. The present study provides evidence on the cost effectiveness of two alternative rotavirus vaccinations (RotaTeq [Merck Frosst Canada Ltd, Canada] and Rotarix [GlaxoSmithKline, Canada]) available in Canada.

METHODS: Analysis was conducted through a Markov model that followed a cohort of children from birth to five years of age. Analysis used pertinent data on the natural history of rotavirus and the effects of vaccination. Estimates of heath care costs for children requiring hospitalizations and emergency department visits were derived from the Canadian Immunization Monitoring Program, Active (IMPACT) surveillance, emergency department studies, as well as other Canadian studies. The model estimated the effect of vaccination on costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs).

RESULTS: The incremental cost per QALY gained from the health care system perspective was $122,000 for RotaTeq and $108,000 for Rotarix. From the societal perspective, both vaccination strategies were dominant – both cost saving and more effective. The cost-effectiveness of vaccination is dependent on the mode of administration, the perspective adopted and the cost of the vaccine.

CONCLUSIONS: From a societal perspective, a universal vaccination program against rotavirus will be both cost saving and more effective than no vaccination. Becasue the majority of rotavirus infections do not require emergency department visits or hospital admission, from a health care system perspective, a program would not be considered cost effective.