Recognizing that infectious agents readily cross international borders, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee issues Temporary Recommendations (TRs) that include vaccination of travelers from countries affected by public health emergencies, including serotype 1 wild polioviruses (WPV1s). This analysis estimates the costs and benefits of TRs implemented by countries with reported WPV1 during 2014-2016 while accounting for numerous uncertainties. We estimate the TR costs based on programmatic data and prior economic analyses and TR benefits by simulating potential WPV1 outbreaks in the absence of the TRs using the rate and extent of WPV1 importation outbreaks per reported WPV1 case during 2004-2013 and the number of reported WPV1 cases that occurred in countries with active TRs. The benefits of TRs outweigh the costs in 77% of model iterations, resulting in expected incremental net economic benefits of $210 million. Inclusion of indirect costs increases the costs by 13%, the expected savings from prevented outbreaks by 4%, and the expected incremental net benefits by 3%. Despite the considerable costs of implementing TRs, this study provides health and economic justification for these investments in the context of managing a disease in advanced stages of its global eradication.
Keywords: Health economics; International Health Regulations; Outbreaks; Polio eradication; Traveler vaccination.
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