The value of vaccines: a tale of two parts

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Fox, Nathan, Adams, Philip ORCID: 0000-0002-1640-1293, Grainger, David, Herz, Jennifer and Austin, Carolyn (2022) The value of vaccines: a tale of two parts. Vaccines, 10 (12). ISSN 2076-393X


Vaccines are essential to ensuring a nation’s health, wellbeing and prosperity. After the coronavirus pandemic commenced, the Australian Government introduced social restrictions to constrain virus transmission, seeing significant economic impacts. Reflecting the extraordinary circumstances, subsequent vaccination rollout forwent usual health technology assessment (HTA) processes, facilitating restrictions removal and leading to societal and economic recovery. However, in ‘usual’ circumstances, HTA may not consider such broader effects of vaccines, making it challenging for them to achieve timely funding. We used detailed modelling to compare economic impacts under continued lockdowns against population-wide vaccination rollout between January 2020 and June 2023 and examined global HTA vaccine evaluation methodologies and efforts to develop broader valuation approaches. Australian gross domestic product reduces by approximately AUD 395 billion with lockdowns. With vaccination rollout, this effect is approximately AUD 214bn, a positive incremental impact of AUD 181bn. Vaccination contributes to large estimated positive effects for tourism (AUD 28bn) and education (AUD 26bn) exports, employment (142,000 jobs) and government finances (AUD 259bn). Conversely, global HTA methods generally only consider direct patient health outcomes and healthcare system-related costs, with broader effects usually not impacting funding decisions. Our results suggest that recent efforts to propose broader HTA valuation frameworks warrant further policy consideration.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/vaccines10122057
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3801 Applied economics
Current > Division/Research > Centre of Policy Studies (CoPS)
Keywords vaccines, Covid 19, Coronavirus, economic recovery, economic impact, Australia, Covid restrictions
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