[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 9-Feb-2010
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Contact: Floris de Hon
f.hon@elsevier.com
31-204-852-498
Elsevier

Predicting effectiveness of flu vaccination campaigns

Amsterdam, February 9, 2010 A new study (doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.01.002), published by Elsevier this month in Vaccine (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/vaccine) describes a new method that assesses the impact and cost-effectiveness of a range of vaccination options. The model was applied to the 2009 Influenza H1N1 outbreak and predicted accurately in real-time when the epidemic would peak and who should be prioritized for vaccination.

Last year, an outbreak of a novel strain of influenza linked to swine influenza was detected in Mexico. The infection has shown sustained human-to-human transmission across the world, leading the World Health Organization to declare an influenza pandemic. Vaccines specific for pandemic influenza have been successfully developed and the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization recommended that high-risk individuals be prioritized for vaccination.

Decisions about extending vaccination to low-risk individuals are heavily debated and depend partly on the epidemiological impact and cost-effectiveness of such options. Marc Baguelin, Albert Jan Van Hoek and colleagues from the Health Protection Agency and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK describe how they fit a mathematical model to the estimated number of cases in real-time to predict the effectiveness of alternative influenza vaccination strategies. Specifically, they show that, vaccination of high risk groups was probably very cost effective. However, the cost-effectiveness of vaccinating children depended on the progress of the epidemic and may be cost-effective in countries where a flu pandemic is not so far advanced.

"Given the present debates in different European countries about the legitimacy of the different choices of vaccination our paper is very topical", said Baguelin, "further it reinforces and expands a recent article in The Lancet (doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(09)62126-7) as it also suggests that many more people than first thought were infected in the summer wave of the swine flu pandemic".

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Notes to Editors:

Marc Baguelin, Albert Jan Van Hoek, Mark Jit, Stefan Flasche, Peter J. White, and W. John Edmunds, Vaccination against pandemic influenza A/H1N1v in England: A real-time economic evaluation, 2010 Vaccine, Article In Press.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet (www.thelancet.com) and Cell (www.cell.com), and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier's online solutions include ScienceDirect (www.sciencedirect.com), Scopus (www.scopus.com), Reaxys (www.reaxys.com), MD Consult (www.mdconsult.com) and Nursing Consult (www.nursingconsult.com), which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite (www.scival.com) and MEDai's Pinpoint Review (www.medai.com), which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier (www.elsevier.com) employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC (http://www.reedelsevier.com), a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).



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