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Controlling Varicella in the Healthcare Setting: The Cost Effectiveness of Using Varicella Vaccine in Healthcare Workers

Mary D. Nettleman and Marlene Schmid
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Vol. 18, No. 7 (Jul., 1997), pp. 504-508
DOI: 10.2307/30141191
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30141191
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Controlling Varicella in the Healthcare Setting: The Cost Effectiveness of Using Varicella Vaccine in Healthcare Workers
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Abstract

Objective: To determine if varicella vaccination of healthcare workers would result in a net cost savings. Design: A Markov-based decision analysis. Setting: The analysis was based on a hypothetical population of healthcare workers. Data were obtained from exposure records of a tertiary-care hospital and from the literature. Workers were considered potentially susceptible if they had no past history of varicella. Results: Vaccination of potentially susceptible workers would result in a net cost savings of $59 per person. Serological testing prior to vaccination resulted in smaller net savings. The results were robust across a wide range of assumptions. Importantly, however, the result was very dependent on infection control policy regarding work restrictions for vaccine recipients. If more than 3% of vaccinees were removed from work due to vaccine-associated rash, vaccination no longer would result in a net cost savings. Conclusion: Varicella vaccination of potentially susceptible healthcare workers can reduce costs and decrease morbidity. Infection control policy regarding work restrictions for vaccine recipients will play a key role in the feasibility of vaccination.

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