Economic analyses of rubella and rubella vaccines: a global review

Bull World Health Organ. 2002;80(4):264-70.


Objective: To investigate whether the incorporation of rubella vaccine into immunization programmes in developing countries is economically justified.

Methods: A MEDLINE search was conducted for articles published between 1970 and 2000 that dealt with economic analyses of rubella and rubella-containing vaccines. The Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia, and Africa regional Index Medicus databases and the LILACS database for Latin America and the Caribbean were also searched.

Findings: For developed countries, five cost- benefit analyses of rubella vaccine and five of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine as well as two cost-effectiveness analyses were found. For developing countries, five cost analyses and five cost-benefit analyses were found. All the cost-benefit analyses had a benefit:cost ratio greater than 1 and the cost-effectiveness studies indicated that rubella immunization was a cost-effective means of reducing the impact of congenital rubella syndrome. However, the methodologies were not standardized.

Conclusion: The data support the inclusion of rubella vaccine in the immunization programmes of both developing and developed countries and indicate economic benefits comparable to those associated with hepatitis B vaccine and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine. More studies should be carried out on costs for care and immunization using standardized methodologies and locally obtained information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Developed Countries / economics
  • Developing Countries / economics
  • Drug Costs
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / economics*
  • Rubella / economics*
  • Rubella / prevention & control
  • Rubella Vaccine / economics*
  • Rubella Vaccine / supply & distribution


  • Rubella Vaccine