EU-funded FLURESP project provides evidence of cost-effectiveness of vaccination strategies in influenza pandemic scenarios

2014 03 31 Written by Vaccines Europe

Vaccines Europe was pleased to attend the Final Conference of the DG SANCO-funded FLURESP project hosted last 28 March 2014 in Luxembourg, chaired by Dr. Ariel Beresniak from the French University of Paris-Descartes.

 Funded under the 2nd EU Health Programme 2008-2013, FLURESP aimed to assess the performance and socio-economic impact of difference response strategies for human influenza pandemics in Europe in order to improve European preparedness planning and support decision-making in the framework of national pandemic preparedness plans. Effective prioritisation requires relevant information to refrain decision makers from premature commitment of resources as well as a willingness to use tools and processes that lead to informed and responsible decisions.

At the conference, Dr. Beresniak presented for the first time a set of core cost-effectiveness recommendations for prioritising action in response to human influenza threats based on the analysis of 134 cost-effectiveness models in 4 EU Member States (France, Italy, Poland, and Romania).

Vaccination was naturally one of the key public health response strategies looked at by the study, measuring and taking into account in the model different potential approach to it adopted by EU Member States in past influenza pandemic episodes. Key recommendations with regards to vaccination pointed to the following main conclusions:

Targeting the general population appears more cost-effective for implementing vaccination programs whatever the level of severity of the outbreak

“Vaccination programmes targeting the general population should be promoted before a human influenza outbreak, whatever the level of severity (seasonal flu or severe pandemic). Vaccinating the general population appears to be more cost-effective for reducing the number of cases, compared to vaccinating at-risk population or health professionals only. Improving the vaccination coverage would significantly protect European citizens. In addition, the production of large volumes of vaccines would maintain the ability of vaccine manufacturers to respond adequately to potential severe pandemics, contributing also to keeping manufacturing capacity on the European soil”.

Using existing vaccination centers and primary care services appears more cost-effective for implementing vaccination programs

“The involvement of health professionals, and citizens’ trust are key success factors for vaccination programs against influenza. Using existing vaccination centers appears to be a more cost-effective way compared to creating ad-hoc centers during a pandemic”.

The final and full set of recommendations is available here.

More information on FLURESP is available on www.fluresp.eu .