Introduction: Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is the only licensed vaccine for tuberculosis, but its effectiveness is limited and varies by age. New candidate vaccines are currently being investigated. In response to the declining incidence of TB, practices relating to BCG vaccination have changed in various countries in recent years. A valid cost-effectiveness study is therefore needed in order to assist decision-makers in the implementation of cost-effective strategies for BCG vaccination. Areas covered: Studies involving economic evaluations of BCG vaccination were reviewed in order to present current findings concerning a range of BCG vaccination strategies in a variety of regions, target populations, and vaccine types. The Quality of Health Economic Studies (QHES) instrument was used to assess the quality of the studies included in the analysis. Expert opinion: Most of the studies showed a favorable economic profile of BCG vaccination. Selective strategies seem the most cost-effective option for low-incidence areas. Varying results on revaccination strategies did not lead to any conclusive finding on the cost-effectiveness of the strategies. A novel vaccine - either a BCG replacement or booster vaccine that provides better protection, especially in adults - has the potential to enhance the cost-effectiveness of vaccinating against tuberculosis.
All age groups Healthcare workers Economic aspects Tuberculosis