Exploring the costs of a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination program for home care patients

Miika Linna*, Juha Laine, Leena Timonen, Heidi Åhman, Myint Tin Tin Htar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Objective: The city of Joensuu in Finland vaccinated 409 elderly home care patients with the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in autumn 2012. All home care patients were also eligible for a seasonal influenza vaccine. The objective of this retrospective real-world data cohort study was to evaluate whether the immunization intervention with PCV13 for home care patients was cost saving from the payer's (municipality's) perspective in terms of a return on investment (ROI). Methods: This was a retrospective observational registry study. We used registry data from the regional Mediatri patient information system covering all North Karelian municipalities, including individual-level data for all health and social care service utilization, diagnoses and procedures. Home care patients and their use of services were followed for 2 years. Cost comparisons were based on two specifications: (1) pneumonia-related health care costs; and (2) total health care costs. We compared patients who had received both influenza and PCV13 vaccinations to patients only vaccinated against influenza. Result: The pneumonia-related costs in the PCV13-vaccinated group were 434 EUR lower and the total health care costs 3800 EUR lower per person, compared to the non-PCV13-vaccinated group (bootstrapped 95% CIs -1682-527 EUR and -8233-621 EUR, respectively). PCV13 vaccination was associated with a return on investment of 7 EUR per 1 EUR spent during the 2 year follow-up period when pneumonia-related costs were used as baseline. Probability of the positive return on investment was .715. Conclusion: The results suggest that vaccinating home care patients could potentially be cost saving from the health care and service producer's perspectives. The uncertainty from the decision-making perspective was due to the large variation in individual costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2089-2094
Number of pages6
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Pneumococcal disease
  • pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
  • PCV13
  • pneumonia
  • cost

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