University of Pittsburgh
Offering a choice of influenza vaccine type may increase vaccine coverage and reduce disease burden, but it is more costly. This study calculated the public health impact and cost-effectiveness of 4 strategies: no choice, pediatric choice, adult choice, or choice for both age groups. Using agent-based modeling, individuals were simulated as they interacted with others, and influenza was tracked as it spread through a population in Washington, DC. Influenza vaccination coverage derived from data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was increased by 6.5% (range, 3.25%-11.25%), reflecting changes due to vaccine choice. With moderate influenza infectivity, the number of cases averaged 1,117,285 for no choice, 1,083,126 for pediatric choice, 1,009,026 for adult choice, and 975,818 for choice for both age groups. Averted cases increased with increased coverage and were highest for the choice-for-both-age-groups strategy; adult choice also reduced cases in children. In cost-effectiveness analysis, choice for both age groups was dominant when choice increased vaccine coverage by ≥3.25%. Offering a choice of influenza vaccines, with reasonable resultant increases in coverage, decreased influenza cases by >100,000 with a favorable cost-effectiveness profile. Clinical trials testing the predictions made based on these simulation results and deliberation of policies and procedures to facilitate choice should be considered.