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Budget constraint and vaccine dosing: a mathematical modelling exercise

Baudouin A Standaert12*, Desmond Curran1 and Maarten J Postma2

Author Affiliations

1 Health Economics Department, GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, Avenue Fleming 20, 1300 Wavre, Belgium

2 Unit of PharmacoEpidemiology & PharmacoEconomics (PE2), Department of Pharmacy, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

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Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation 2014, 12:3  doi:10.1186/1478-7547-12-3

Published: 22 January 2014



Increasing the number of vaccine doses may potentially improve overall efficacy. Decision-makers need information about choosing the most efficient dose schedule to maximise the total health gain of a population when operating under a constrained budget. The objective of this study is to identify the most efficient vaccine dosing schedule within a fixed vaccination budget from a healthcare payer perspective.


An optimisation model is developed in which maximizing the disease reduction is the functional objective and the constraint is the vaccination budget. The model allows variation in vaccination dosing numbers, in cost difference per dose, in vaccine coverage rate, and in vaccine efficacy. We apply the model using the monovalent rotavirus vaccine as an example.


With a fixed budget, a 2-dose schedule for vaccination against rotavirus infection with the monovalent vaccine results in a larger reduction in disease episodes than a 3-dose scheme with the same vaccine under most circumstances. A 3-dose schedule would only be better under certain conditions: a cost reduction of >26% per dose, combined with vaccine efficacy improvement of ≥5% and a target coverage rate of 75%. Substantial interaction is observed between cost reduction per dose, vaccine coverage rate, and increased vaccine efficacy. Sensitivity analysis shows that the conditions required for a 3-dose strategy to be better than a 2-dose strategy may seldom occur when the budget is fixed. The model does not consider vaccine herd effect, precise timing for additional doses, or the effect of natural immunity development.


Under budget constraint, optimisation modelling is a helpful tool for a decision-maker selecting the most efficient vaccination dosing schedule. The low dosing scheme could be the optimal option to consider under the many scenarios tested. The model can be applied under many different circumstances of changing dosing schemes with single or multiple vaccines.

Rotavirus; Vaccination; Economic evaluation; Budget optimisation modelling