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The cost saving opportunity of introducing a card review into measles-containing vaccination campaigns.

Abstract

Measles vaccination is a cost-effective way to prevent infection and reduce mortality and morbidity. However, in countries with fragile routine immunization infrastructure, coverage rates are still low and supplementary immunization campaigns (SIAs) are used to reach previously unvaccinated children. During campaigns, vaccine is generally administered to every child, regardless of their vaccination status and as a result, there is the possibility that a child that is already immune to measles (i.e. who has had 2+ vaccinations) would receive an unnecessary dose, resulting in excess cost. Selective vaccination has been proposed as one solution to this; children who were able to provide documentation of previous vaccination would not be vaccinated repeatedly. While this would result in reduced vaccine and supply cost, it would also require additional staff time and increased social mobilization investment, potentially outweighing the benefits. We utilize Monte Carlo simulation to assess under what conditions a selective vaccination policy would indeed result in net savings. We demonstrate that cost savings are possible in contexts with a high joint probability of an individual child having both 2+ previous measles doses and also an available record. We also find that the magnitude of net cost savings is highly dependent on whether a country is using measles-only or measles-rubella vaccine and on the required skill set of the individual who would review the previous vaccination records.

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