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The IFA welcomes guest blogger Mr David Sinclair, Director, ILC-UK

New research by the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) argues that Government should take into account the economic as well as the health benefits of vaccination when assessing its value.

The new research highlights how influenza can have an adverse impact on productivity within the economy. It finds that the greatest economic benefit from vaccination is derived from reducing the cost of lost employment and lost care giving (“human capital costs”).  ILC-UK have developed a new static economic model which finds:

  • Vaccination averts between 180,000 and 626,000 cases of influenza per year in England.
  • Flu vaccination helps avert between 5,678 and 8,800 premature deaths per year.
  • The majority of hospital cases caused by influenza are among older adults. Over 1,800 individuals hospitalised in 2016-2017 were aged between 80 and 84 – higher than any other age group.
  • ILC-UK find that human capital costs of influenza range from £90 million to £270 million.
  • The NHS flu vaccination programme costs £50,610 per death averted.

According to ILC-UK, there were over 6.2 million “at risk” individuals who had not been vaccinated against influenza during the 2016/17 flu season.

The researchers find substantial potential cost savings when the vaccine is well matched to disease but argue that, if we are to maximise the economic return, it is important to raise the efficacy of the vaccine among older age groups in particular.  ILC-UK argue that the cost-benefit analysis is highly sensitive to vaccine administration costs and urge Government to look to ways of delivering the vaccination more efficiently.

An Economic Analysis of Flu Vaccination is available here.

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