Hepatitis C virus (HCV) vaccine development remains at an early stage. We explored the economic and health consequences of potential HCV vaccines by comparing universal vaccination with a hepatitis C vaccine to no vaccination in two groups: (1) injecting drug users (IDU); (2) all 12 year olds, using a Markov cohort simulation. Among IDUs, vaccination would avert 248 cases of HCV infection and 89 HCV-related deaths per 1000 individuals, and reduce costs. In average risk cohorts, vaccination did not reduce costs but was reasonably cost effective. These results provide encouragement to vaccine developers that a vaccine that is moderately effective and reasonably priced should not face economic barriers to implementation and will be attractive to third party payers.
Potential cost-effectiveness of a preventive hepatitis C vaccine in high risk and average risk populations in Canada