We review published economic evaluations of influenza vaccination for children, including direct individual benefits and indirect societal benefits, to determine whether more studies are needed to fully understand the expected benefits of such strategies.
We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE databases to May 2006 and in-press articles to October 2006 for studies including economic analyses of influenza vaccination in children. Abstracts of all potentially relevant articles were screened.
Fifteen relevant articles from 1983 were retained. Most were based on modelling, using previously published data and considered the societal perspective. Three were a part of prospective clinical trials. Various paediatric vaccination scenarios and parameters were considered. Vaccinating children against influenza was cost saving or cost effective in 10/15 studies, cost saving or effective only under certain conditions in three studies, and not cost saving or effective in two studies whatever the outcome or perspective considered.
Most published evidence points to an economic interest for society of vaccinating children against influenza. However, differences in study design hinder the comparison of the various vaccination strategies considered. Comparable and complete data on the burden and cost of disease, and the cost of vaccination are needed, especially outside of North America.
Health Policy, Volume 86, Issues 2-3, Pages 142–152