Recent results from the phase 3 trial of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine show that the vaccine induced partial protection against clinical malaria in infants and children; given the high burden of the disease it is currently considered for use in malaria endemic countries. To inform adoption decisions the paper proposes a generalizable methodology to estimate the cost of vaccine introduction using routinely collected and publicly available data from the cMYP, UNICEF, and WHO-CHOICE. Costing is carried out around a set of generic activities, assumptions, and inputs for delivery of immunization services adapted to a given country and deployment modality to capture among other factors the structure of the EPI program, distribution model, geography, and demographics particular to the setting. The methodology is applied to estimate the cost of RTS,S introduction in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. At an assumed vaccine price of $5 per dose and given our assumptions on coverage and deployment strategy, we estimate total economic program costs for a 6-9 months cohort within $23.11-$28.28 per fully vaccinated child across the 6 countries. Net of procurement, costs at country level are substantial; for instance in Tanzania these could add as much as $4.2 million per year or an additional $2.4 per infant depending on the level of spare capacity in the system. Differences in cost of vaccine introduction across countries are primarily driven by differences in cost of labour. Overall estimates generated with the methodology result in costs within the ranges reported for other new vaccines introduced in SSA and capture multiple sources of heterogeneity in costs across countries. Further validation with data from field trials will support use of the methodology while also serving as a validation for cMYP and WHO-CHOICE as resources for costing health interventions in the region.
- vaccine introduction