Mauskopf J, Masaquel C, Huang L. Evaluating vaccination programs that prevent diseases with potentially catastrophic health outcomes: how can we capture the value of risk reduction? Value Health. 2021 Jan 1;24(1):86-90.

In the last 5 years, guidelines have been developed for performing cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs) for the economic evaluation of vaccination programs against infectious diseases. However, these cost-effectiveness guidelines do not provide specific guidance for including the value of reducing the risk of rare but potentially catastrophic outcomes, such as mortality or long-term sequelae. Alternative economic evaluation methods, including cost-benefit analyses, willingness to pay or the value of a statistical life, to capture the value of the risk reduction could provide more complete estimates of the value of vaccination programs for diseases with potentially catastrophic outcomes. In this commentary, using invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) as an example, we describe these alternative approaches along with examples to illustrate how health and non-health benefits for those vaccinated and their families as well as non-vaccinated can be valued, which is not usually captured in CEAs that only includes benefits presented by the quality-adjusted life-year gained and reduced costs from avoided cases.

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