Background: In November 2011, the GAVI Alliance made the decision to add HPV vaccine as one of the new vaccines for which countries eligible for its funding (less than $1520 per capita income) could apply to receive support for national HPV vaccination, provided they could demonstrate the ability to deliver HPV vaccines. This paper describes the data and analysis shared with GAVI policymakers for this decision regarding GAVI HPV vaccine support. The paper reviews why strategies and costs for HPV vaccine delivery are different from other vaccines and what is known about the cost components from available data that originated primarily from HPV vaccine delivery costing studies in low and middle income-countries.
Methods: Financial costs of HPV vaccine delivery were compared across three sources of data: 1) vaccine delivery costing of pilot projects in five low and lower-middle income countries; 2) cost estimates of national HPV vaccination in two low income countries; and 3) actual expenditure data from national HPV vaccine introduction in a low income country. Both costs of resources required to introduce the vaccine (or initial one-time investment, such as cold chain equipment purchases) and recurrent (ongoing costs that repeat every year) costs, such as transport and health personnel time, were analyzed. The cost per dose, cost per fully immunized girl (FIG) and cost per eligible girl were compared across studies.
Results: Costs varied among pilot projects and estimates of national programs due to differences in scale and service delivery strategy. The average introduction costs per fully immunized girl ranged from $1.49 to $18.94 while recurrent costs per girl ranged from $1.00 to $15.69, with both types of costs varying by delivery strategy and country. Evaluating delivery costs along programme characteristics as well as country characteristics (population density, income/cost level, existing service delivery infrastructure) are likely the most informative and useful for anticipating costs for HPV vaccine delivery.
Conclusions: This paper demonstrates the importance of country level cost data to inform global donor policies for vaccine introduction support. Such data are also valuable for informing national decisions on HPV vaccine introduction.