Vaccinating healthcare workers against influenza to protect the vunerable - is it a good use of healthcare resources? A systematic review of the evidence and an economic evaluation

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Influenza causes substantial mortality in high-risk groups despite targeted vaccination programmes. This paper considers whether it is worth vaccinating healthcare workers (HCWs) against influenza to protect high-risk patients in a series of systematic reviews and an economic evaluation. Eighteen studies are included. Vaccination was highly effective in HCWs, with minimal adverse effects. Two trials assessed patient mortality after vaccinating HCWs, both of which showed a reduction. Despite recommendations, less than 25% of HCW in Europe and the UK are vaccinated. Five studies looked at programmes to increase uptake; these produced increases of 5%-45%. Published economic evaluations did not include patient benefit; therefore, an economic evaluation using UK data was undertaken. In the base case, vaccination was cost saving (12 pound/vaccinee). In the most pessimistic scenario it cost 405 pound/life-year gained. Effective implementation should be a priority. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4212-4221
Number of pages10
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2006


  • influenza vaccination, economic evaluation, healthcare workers, systematic review