Scientists estimate that vaccinating pregnant mothers could prevent 31,000 infant deaths and save $385 million in health care costs.
A global maternal immunization program against group streptococcus will save millions of dollars in health care costs by reducing neonatal death and disability, a team of researchers led by scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has found. However, the study suggests that without tiered pricing, fair access to life-saving vaccines is likely not to be achieved, writes the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
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Several streptococcus B vaccines are currently in development, and the research team estimates that a global vaccination program could prevent more than 200,000 cases and more than 31,000 deaths, and reduce disability in children.
Streptococcus B can infect pregnant women and their babies, causing sepsis and meningitis in newborns and sometimes leading to death or disability. It is associated with an increased risk of stillbirth and preterm delivery. As we move closer to vaccine approval, the global economic assessment of vaccination will serve as the basis for making investment decisions for further vaccine development, as well as for determining fair funding and pricing.
Dr. Simon Procter of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and colleagues have developed a model to estimate the cost-effectiveness of group B streptococcus (GSV) vaccines for 140 million pregnant women in 183 countries in 2020. They used the latest global estimates of health harms associated with streptococcus B in pregnant women and their children and estimated the cost to health systems by calculating quality-adjusted years of life lost due to infant mortality and long-term disability.
Based on the World Health Organization’s list of preferred characteristics for the Streptococcus B vaccine, the team estimated that the vaccine would prevent infection in 80% of vaccinated women, and that women attending at least four prenatal visits would be vaccinated. They suggested a dose cost of $50 in high-income countries, $15 in upper-middle-income countries, and $3.50 in low- and lower-middle-income countries. Vaccination could have prevented 127,000 early and 87,300 late HFS cases in infants, thus preventing 31,100 deaths, 17,900 moderate and severe neurodevelopmental disorders, and 23,000 stillbirths.
The study is limited by the lack of some data, such as the impact of vaccines on health-related quality of life and long-term costs of disability, but it estimates that a 1-dose vaccination program could cost $1.7 billion globally, saving $385 million. dollars in health care spending. The team warns that regional sensitivity to vaccine prices could influence policy decisions and that tiered vaccine pricing would ensure equal access.
Dr. Procter said: “By reducing severe FRV infections, an effective maternal vaccine used worldwide can prevent tens of thousands of neonatal deaths and stillbirths every year. that this will facilitate the further investment required to bring HCV vaccines to market.”
Focus has previously written about high maternal and newborn mortality from COVID. It is associated with serious illnesses in mothers and newborns. The results support the need for targeted interventions, including vaccination, the researchers said.
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