BACKGROUND: The Belgian Superior Health Council (SHC) recently added a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) to its recommendations for adult pneumococcal vaccination. This study addresses the policy question regarding whether a single dose of PCV13 should be reimbursed among Belgian adults aged 65-84 years with chronic comorbidities (“moderate-risk”) or immunosuppression (“high-risk”).
METHODS: A cohort model was developed to project lifetime risks, consequences, and costs of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Parameter values were estimated using published literature and available databases, and were reviewed by Belgian experts. PCV13 effectiveness was assumed to be durable during the first 5 years following receipt, and to progressively decline thereafter with 15 years protection. The Belgian National Health Insurance perspective was employed.
RESULTS: Use of PCV13 (vs. no vaccine) in moderate/high-risk persons aged 65-84 years (n = 861,467; 58% vaccination coverage) would be expected to prevent 527 cases of IPD, 1,744 cases of pneumococcal CAP and 176 pneumococcal-related deaths, and reduce medical care costs by €20.1 million. Vaccination costs, however, would increase by €36.9 million and thus total overall costs would increase by €16.8 million. Cost per QALY gained was €17,126. In probabilistic sensitivity analyses, use of PCV13 was cost-effective in 97% of 1,000 simulations.
CONCLUSIONS: Reimbursement of PCV13 in moderate/high-risk Belgian adults aged 65-84 years would be cost-effective from the Belgian healthcare perspective.