Economic evaluations of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine: a systematic review

Aims: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines, but China and Thailand have not used Hib vaccination in their national immunization programs. This systematic review aimed to update published economic evaluations of Hib vaccinations and to determine factors that potentially affected their cost-effectiveness.

Methods: Searches were performed from the inception until December 2015 using 13 databases: CAB direct; CEA registry; EconLit; EMBASE; E-library; NHSEED; PAHO; POPLINE; PubMed; Redalyc project; RePEc; SciELO; and WHOLIS. Reference lists of relevant studies and grey literature were also searched. Full economic evaluations of Hib vaccination with results of costs and outcomes were included. The WHO checklist was used to evaluate the quality of the included studies. Data from eligible studies were extracted using a standardized data collection form.

Results: Out of 830 articles, 27 were included. Almost half of the studies (12/27) were conducted in high-income countries. Twelve studies (12/27) investigated the Hib vaccine as an addition to the existing vaccination program. Most studies (17/27) examined a 3-dose schedule of Hib vaccine. Nineteen studies (19/27) reported the model used, where all were decision tree models. Most of the studies (23/27) demonstrated an economic value of Hib vaccination programs, key influential parameters being incidence rates of Hib disease and vaccine price.

Conclusions: Hib vaccination programs are mostly found to be cost-effective across geographic regions and country income levels, and Hib vaccination is recommended for inclusion into all national immunization programs. The findings are expected to support policy-makers for making decisions on allocating limited resources of the Hib vaccination program effectively.