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Eur J Health Econ ; 2022 Aug 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1990666


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the cost-effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, preferred COVID-19 vaccine profiles, and the preferred vaccination strategies in Thailand. METHODS: An age-structured transmission dynamic model was developed based on key local data to evaluate economic consequences, including cost and health outcome in terms of life-years (LYs) saved. We considered COVID-19 vaccines with different profiles and different vaccination strategies such as vaccinating elderly age groups (over 65s) or high-incidence groups, i.e. adults between 20 and 39 years old who have contributed to more than 60% of total COVID-19 cases in the country thus far. Analyses employed a societal perspective in a 1-year time horizon using a cost-effectiveness threshold of 160,000 THB per LY saved. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to identify and characterize uncertainty in the model. RESULTS: COVID-19 vaccines that block infection combined with social distancing were cost-saving regardless of the target population compared to social distancing alone (with no vaccination). For vaccines that block infection, the preferred (cost-effective) strategy was to vaccinate the high incidence group. Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccines that reduces severity (including hospitalization and mortality) were cost-effective when the elderly were vaccinated, while vaccinating the high-incidence group was not cost-effective with this vaccine type. Regardless of vaccine type, higher vaccination coverage, higher efficacy, and longer protection duration were always preferred. More so, vaccination with social distancing measures was always preferred to strategies without social distancing. Quarantine-related costs were a major cost component affecting the cost-effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 vaccines are good value for money even in a relatively low-incidence and low-mortality setting such as Thailand, if the appropriate groups are vaccinated. The preferred vaccination strategies depend on the type of vaccine efficacy. Social distancing measures should accompany a vaccination strategy.

EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315903


Thailand is facing the dilemma of which groups to prioritise for the limited first tranche of vaccinations in 2021. A mathematical modelling analysis was performed to compare the potential short-term impact of allocating the available doses to either the high-risk group (over 65-year-olds) or the high incidence group (aged 20-39). Vaccinating the high incidence group with a vaccine with sufficiently high protection against infection (more than 50%) could provide enough herd effects to delay the expected epidemic peak, resulting in fewer deaths within the 12-month time horizon compared to vaccinating the same number of the high-risk group. After 12 months, if no further vaccination or other interventions were deployed, this strategy would lead to more deaths. With the right vaccine efficacy profile, targeting the high incidence groups could be a viable short-term component of the Thai vaccination strategy. These results and emerging evidence on vaccines and susceptibility suggest prioritisation guidelines should be more nuanced.