Cost-effectiveness of seasonal quadrivalent versus trivalent influenza vaccination in the United States: A dynamic transmission modeling approach
Trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines (IIV3s) protect against 2 A strains and one B lineage; quadrivalent versions (IIV4s) protect against an additional B lineage. The objective was to assess projected health and economic outcomes associated with IIV4 versus IIV3 for preventing seasonal influenza in the US. A cost-effectiveness model was developed to interact with a dynamic transmission model. The transmission model tracked vaccination, influenza cases, infection-spreading interactions, and recovery over 10 y (2012-2022). The cost-effectiveness model estimated influenza-related complications, direct and indirect costs (2013-2014 US$), health outcomes, and cost-effectiveness. Inputs were taken from published/public sources or estimated using regression or calibration. Outcomes were discounted at 3% per year. Scenario analyses tested the reliability of the results. Seasonal vaccination with IIV4 versus IIV3 is predicted to reduce annual influenza cases by 1,973,849 (discounted; 2,325,644 undiscounted), resulting in 12-13% fewer cases and influenza-related complications and deaths. These reductions are predicted to translate into 18,485 more quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) accrued annually for IIV4 versus IIV3. Increased vaccine-related costs ($599 million; 5.7%) are predicted to be more than offset by reduced influenza treatment costs ($699 million; 12.2%), resulting in direct medical cost saving annually ($100 million; 0.6%). Including indirect costs, savings with IIV4 are predicted to be $7.1 billion (5.6%). Scenario analyses predict IIV4 to be cost-saving in all scenarios tested apart from low infectivity, where IIV4 is predicted to be cost-effective. In summary, seasonal influenza vaccination in the US with IIV4 versus IIV3 is predicted to improve health outcomes and reduce costs.