Projected effectiveness and added value of HIV vaccination campaigns in South Africa: A modeling study

Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 17;8(1):6066. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-24268-4.


Promising multi-dose HIV vaccine regimens are being tested in trials in South Africa. We estimated the potential epidemiological and economic impact of HIV vaccine campaigns compared to continuous vaccination, assuming that vaccine efficacy is transient and dependent on immune response. We used a dynamic economic mathematical model of HIV transmission calibrated to 2012 epidemiological data to simulate vaccination with anticipated antiretroviral treatment scale-up in South Africa. We estimate that biennial vaccination with a 70% efficacious vaccine reaching 20% of the sexually active population could prevent 480,000-650,000 HIV infections (13.8-15.3% of all infections) over 10 years. Assuming a launch price of $15 per dose, vaccination was found to be cost-effective, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $13,746 per quality-adjusted life-year as compared to no vaccination. Increasing vaccination coverage to 50% will prevent more infections but is less likely to achieve cost-effectiveness. Campaign vaccination is consistently more effective and costs less than continuous vaccination across scenarios. Results suggest that a partially effective HIV vaccine will have substantial impact on the HIV epidemic in South Africa and offer good value if priced less than $105 for a five-dose series. Vaccination campaigns every two years may offer greater value for money than continuous vaccination reaching the same coverage level.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines / economics
  • AIDS Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / economics
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs* / economics
  • Immunization Programs* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Economic
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • AIDS Vaccines