In the United States, persons ≥11 years are recommended to receive one dose of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, followed by decennial tetanus- and diphtheria-toxoid (Td) boosters. Many providers use Tdap instead of Td. We evaluated epidemiologic and economic impacts of replacing Td boosters with Tdap.
At lowest incidence estimates, administering Tdap resulted in high costs per averted case ($111,540) and QALY saved ($8,972,848). As incidence increased, cases averted increased and cost per QALY saved decreased rapidly. With incidence estimates of 250 cases/100,000 person-years, cost per averted case and QALY saved were $984 and $81,678 respectively; at 500 cases/100,000 person-years, these values were $427 and $35,474. In multivariate sensitivity analyses, assuming 250 cases/100,000 person-years, estimated cost per QALY saved ranged from $971 (most favorable) to $217,370 (least favorable).
Our findings suggest that replacing Td with Tdap for the decennial booster would result in high cost per QALY saved based on reported cases. However, programmatic considerations were not accounted for, and if pertussis incidence, which is incompletely measured, is assumed to be higher than reported through national surveillance, substituting Tdap for Td may lead to moderate decreases in pertussis cases and cost per QALY.
We used a static cohort model to examine replacing Td with Tdap over the lifetime of 4,386,854 adults ≥21 years. Because pertussis is underdiagnosed and true incidence is unknown, we varied incidence from 2.5 cases/100,000 person-years to 500 cases/100,000 person-years. We calculated vaccine and medical costs from claims data. We estimated cost per case prevented and per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) saved; sensitivity analyses were conducted on vaccine effectiveness (VE), protection duration, vaccine cost, disease duration, hospitalization rates, productivity loss and missed work. We did not include programmatic advantages resulting from use of a single tetanus-toxoid containing vaccine.