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BACKGROUND: Worldwide, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is considered to be the most important viral cause of respiratory morbidity and mortality among infants and young children. Although no active vaccine is available on the market yet, there are several active vaccine development programs in various stages. To assess whether one of these vaccines might be a future asset for national immunization programs, modeling the costs and benefits of various vaccination strategies is needed. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the potential cost-effectiveness of RSV vaccination of infants and/or pregnant women in Turkey. METHODS: A multi-cohort static Markov model with cycles of one month was used to compare the cost-effectiveness of vaccinated cohorts versus non-vaccinated cohorts. The 2014 Turkish birth cohort was divided by twelve to construct twelve monthly birth cohorts of equal size (111,459 new-borns). Model input was based on clinical data from a multicenter prospective study from Bursa, Turkey, combined with figures from the (inter)national literature and publicly available data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜÏK). Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were expressed in Turkish Lira (TL) per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. RESULTS: Vaccinating infants at 2 and 4 months of age would prevent 145,802 GP visits, 8,201 hospitalizations and 48 deaths during the first year of life, corresponding to a total gain of 1650 QALYs. The discounted ICER was estimated at 51,969 TL (26,220 US $ in 2013) per QALY gained. Vaccinating both pregnant women and infants would prevent more cases, but was less attractive from a pure economic point of view with a discounted ICER of 61,653 TL (31,106 US $ in 2013) per QALY. Vaccinating only during pregnancy would result in fewer cases prevented than infant vaccination and a less favorable ICER. CONCLUSION: RSV vaccination of infants and/or pregnant women has the potential to be cost-effective in Turkey. Although using relatively conservative assumptions, all evaluated strategies remained slightly below the threshold of 3 times the GDP per capita.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

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