The Costs and Valuation of Health Impacts of Measles and Rubella Risk Management Policies

Risk Anal. 2016 Jul;36(7):1357-82. doi: 10.1111/risa.12459. Epub 2015 Aug 5.


National and global health policymakers require good information about the costs and benefits of their investments in measles and rubella immunization programs. Building on our review of the existing measles and rubella health economics literature, we develop inputs for use in regional and global models of the expected future benefits and costs of vaccination, treatment, surveillance, and other global coordination activities. Given diversity in the world and limited data, we characterize the costs for countries according to the 2013 World Bank income levels using 2013 U.S. dollars (2013$US). We estimate that routine immunization and supplemental immunization activities will cost governments and donors over 2013$US 2.3 billion per year for the foreseeable future, with high-income countries accounting for 55% of the costs, to vaccinate global birth cohorts of approximately 134 million surviving infants and to protect the global population of over 7 billion people. We find significantly higher costs and health consequences of measles or rubella disease than with vaccine use, with the expected disability-adjusted life year (DALY) loss for case of disease generally at least 100 times the loss per vaccine dose. To support estimates of the economic benefits of investments in measles and/or rubella elimination or control, we characterize the probabilities of various sequelae of measles and rubella infections and vaccine adverse events, the DALY inputs for health outcomes, and the associated treatment costs. Managing measles and rubella to achieve the existing and future regional measles and rubella goals and the objectives of the Global Vaccine Action Plan will require an ongoing commitment of financial resources that will prevent adverse health outcomes and save the associated treatment costs.

Keywords: Cost; economic analysis; immunization; measles; rubella.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Measles / economics*
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Risk Management*
  • Rubella / economics*
  • Vaccines / economics
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use


  • Vaccines