Clinical Edge

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Flu Vaccine for All Visitors to Pediatric ED?

Pediatrics; 2018 Jan 2; Hart, et al

Offering influenza vaccine to every eligible patient who walks into a pediatric emergency department (ED) may be cost effective, suggests a recent analysis that looked at 4 different hypothetical scenarios. A cost effectiveness analysis was performed from January 2016 to June 2017 to evaluate vaccine strategies at a tertiary urban freestanding pediatric ED. Investigators evaluated 4 scenarios: offering the influenza vaccine to all patients, to those aged younger than 5 years, to high risk patients of any age, or to no patients. They found:

  • Providing vaccines to everyone would have generated the lowest cost, at $114.45 per case of flu that was prevented.
  • This approach would have saved $33.51/case, when compared to the no vaccination strategy and resulted in 27 fewer cases of the infection per 1,000 patients.
  • Giving the vaccine to everyone was also the most cost-effective approach regardless of patients’ ages or risk status.

Hart RC, Stevenson MD, Smith MJ, et al. Cost-effectiveness of strategies for offering influenza vaccine in the pediatric emergency department. Pediatrics. 2018;172:e173879. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.3879.