Health benefits, risks, and cost-effectiveness of influenza vaccination of children

Emerg Infect Dis. 2006 Oct;12(10):1548-58. doi: 10.3201/eid1210.051015.


We estimated cost-effectiveness of annually vaccinating children not at high risk with inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) to range from US $12,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) saved for children ages 6-23 months to $119,000 per QALY saved for children ages 12-17 years. For children at high risk (preexisting medical conditions) ages 6-35 months, vaccination with IIV was cost saving. For children at high risk ages 3-17 years, vaccination cost $1,000-$10,000 per QALY. Among children notat high risk ages 5-17 years, live, attenuated influenza vaccine had a similar cost-effectiveness as IIV. Risk status was more important than age in determining the economic effects of annual vaccination, and vaccination was less cost-effective as the child's age increased. Thus, routine vaccination of all children is likely less cost-effective than vaccination of all children ages 6-23 months plus all other children at high risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Influenza Vaccines / economics*
  • Mass Vaccination / adverse effects
  • Mass Vaccination / economics*
  • Quality of Life
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vaccines, Inactivated / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Inactivated / adverse effects
  • Vaccines, Inactivated / economics


  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Inactivated