Halftime for SDGs: Child Immunization
Best Investment Paper
In 2023, the world will be at ‘half timeʼ with respect to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This midline acts as an important milestone to review the progress of the SDGs and develop policies based on the most effective interventions. To estimate the remaining resources needed to achieve SDG targets for vaccines from 2023–2030 as well the resulting economic benefits, in this analysis, the incremental economic benefit-cost ratio (BCR) for immunization programs in 80 low- and middle-income countries targeted by the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) from 2023–2030 are calculated. Of these 80 countries, 27 are classified as low-income countries and 53 are classified as lower–middle-income countries.
The economic evaluation covers 9 vaccines employed against 10 antigens and delivered through both routine immunization programs and supplemental immunization activities (SIAs). The vaccines covered in the analysis include pentavalent vaccine, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine, measles (MCV) vaccine, measles-rubella (MR) vaccine, meningococcal conjugate A (Men A) vaccine, pneumocccal conjugate (PCV) vaccine, rotavirus vaccine, and yellow fever (YF) vaccine, and correspond to the vaccines covered in the return-on-investment estimates presented in Sim et al. (2020), which covered 94 LMICs from 2011–2030.
For these countries, we estimate program costs from the health system perspective, including vaccine costs such as costs to procure vaccines, which incorporates injection supplies and freight; and immunization delivery costs, which includes non-vaccine commodity costs to deliver immunizations to target populations and incorporates labor, cold chain and storage, transportation, facilities, training, surveillance, and wastage. Economic benefits are calculated using a value of statistical life year (VSLY) approach applied to modeled cases, and deaths averted are converted into averted years of life lost using life expectancy data.
BCRs are presented as the final output that compares incremental costs and benefits from the baseline of 2022 levels, assuming diminishing returns to scale. Overall, for this period, we estimate total costs of US$ 7,582,000,000 with VSLY benefits of US$ 762,172,000,000, resulting in a BCR of 101.
Peer-reviewed manuscript as of February 11, 2023