Programme costs for introducing age/gestation-based universal influenza vaccine schedules for young children and pregnant women in Hong Kong

Thomas D J de Haas, Karene Hoi Ting Yeung*, Raymond Hutubessy, Ingeborg Maria van der Putten, E Anthony S Nelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Hong Kong experiences year-round influenza activity with winter and summer peaks. The government's Vaccination Subsidy Scheme (VSS) provides vaccine to high-risk groups prior to the larger winter peak. The VSS is predominantly administered through the private sector. This study aimed to cost the two theoretical routine influenza vaccination schedules using both northern and southern hemisphere vaccines, administered according to child's age and women's gestation, from a governmental perspective; and compare these costs to the costs of government's seasonal VSS assuming equivalent coverage estimates to determine the budget impacts of these influenza vaccination programmes in Hong Kong.

METHODS: We used the World Health Organization's Flutool Plus to estimate the incremental annual costs for immunising young children aged 6 months to 2 years and pregnant women with influenza vaccine during 2021, assuming the latter group accesses the public system for some antenatal care. Inputs were based on literature review, publicly available data and expert opinions. Sensitivity analyses were done with various coverage rates and vaccine costs.

RESULTS: The annual incremental cost (including vaccine price) to vaccinate young children with three doses of influenza vaccine during the first two years of life was estimated at USD 1,175,146 (per-dose-cost of USD 10.55) at 75% coverage while that to vaccinate pregnant women with one dose at 60% coverage was estimated at USD 398,555 (per-dose-cost of USD 13.39). Across a range of sensitivity analyses we predict that routine year-round schedules could be cost-saving to the government compared to the VSS. Implementing routine immunisation to both risk groups equates to USD 1,573,701, i.e., 0.012% of Hong Kong's annual healthcare spending.

CONCLUSION: Proposed year-round universal schedules providing influenza immunisation according to the child's age or the woman's gestation are predicted to be cost-saving compared to the current seasonally administered subsidised vaccine programme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6762-6780
Number of pages19
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2021


  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Influenza, Human/prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women
  • Vaccination
  • Young children
  • Immunisation
  • High income countries
  • Pregnant women
  • Influenza
  • Economic evaluation


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