Estimating the cost-effectiveness of vaccination against herpes zoster in England and Wales

Vaccine. 2009 Feb 25;27(9):1454-67. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.12.024. Epub 2009 Jan 9.


A live-attenuated vaccine against herpes zoster (HZ) has been approved for use, on the basis of a large-scale clinical trial that suggests that the vaccine is safe and efficacious. This study uses a Markov cohort model to estimate whether routine vaccination of the elderly (60+) would be cost-effective, when compared with other uses of health care resources. Vaccine efficacy parameters are estimated by fitting a model to clinical trial data. Estimates of QALY losses due to acute HZ and post-herpetic neuralgia were derived by fitting models to data on the duration of pain by severity and the QoL detriment associated with different severity categories, as reported in a number of different studies. Other parameters (such as cost and incidence estimates) were based on the literature, or UK data sources. The results suggest that vaccination of 65 year olds is likely to be cost-effective (base-case ICER=pound20,400 per QALY gained). If the vaccine does offer additional protection against either the severity of disease or the likelihood of developing PHN (as suggested by the clinical trial), then vaccination of all elderly age groups is highly likely to be deemed cost-effective. Vaccination at either 65 or 70 years (depending on assumptions of the vaccine action) is most cost-effective. Including a booster dose at a later age is unlikely to be cost-effective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • England
  • Herpes Zoster / economics*
  • Herpes Zoster / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus Vaccines / economics
  • Herpesvirus Vaccines / standards
  • Herpesvirus Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Secondary / economics
  • Markov Chains
  • Safety
  • Vaccination / economics
  • Wales


  • Herpesvirus Vaccines