Comparative Evaluation of the Potential Impact of Rotavirus versus HPV Vaccination in GAVI-Eligible Countries

June 20, 2011

Several new vaccines have recently become available, including vaccines targeting rotavirus, and HPV. The new vaccines tend to be far more expensive than the traditional childhood vaccines previously introduced into resource-poor settings. In this context there has been an increasing attention paid to how best to achieve a balance between efficiency, equity, and affordability, and the information that would be necessary to do so. While a growing number of model-based analyses have provided insights into these issues, independent analyses conducted for a single vaccine are often presented in different formats, making it challenging to directly compare the impact of different vaccines. In a recent study published in BMC Infectious Disease, CHDS investigators, including Director Sue J. Goldie, standardized a simple modeling approach and analytic framework to directly compare the health and economic outcomes by the rotavirus and HPV vaccines in low-income countries. The results show that while the benefits of the two new vaccines will be realized at different times, the number of lives saved with the vaccines will be quite similar. Accordingly, it would be desirable for policy makers to be able to use country-specific information, to take into account various criteria that could affect priority setting procedures, and to consider the impact on other health sectors and systems when deciding the type and timing of new vaccine(s) to introduce. The analysis showed that the approach of comparing different vaccines on different dimensions using comparable models and consistent assumptions can enrich the discussion about what attributes might be weighted most prominently in the priority-setting process. The work demonstrated how a more transparent comparison of different new vaccines might be useful to generate dialogue and debate in the priority setting process.