Spanish vaccinations expensive, but lucrative

Last year, the average cost of vaccination per healthy person was 1,519 euros, 1,541 euros for women and 1,498 euros for men. Although this price is twice as high as in 2019, it is still very profitable for the national health system. The cost of a single hospitalization for influenza is €1,519. The treatment cost more than €3,200 and another treatment for meningitis cost more than €9,700.

The reason for this increase is that every year, the common lifelong vaccination program expands the conditions it protects against or the indications for existing vaccines, but these vaccines are updated and recommended to a wider group of people.

For example, the Public Health Council last week approved increasing immunization against rotavirus – which causes acute gastroenteritis in children and is the leading cause of hospitalization for acute diarrhea in Spain – but the target is set at 2025.

In 2023 alone, four new tests were added compared to a year ago: universal human papillomavirus (HPV) test for boys aged 12; Influenza in children 59 months of age, herpes zoster in children 65 months of age, and meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B in childhood. The last two items are the largest contributors to cost growth in 2023.

565 million for 15 diseases

As such, this calendar (excluding covid-19) currently contains 15 diseases: polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b; measles, rubella, mumps; hepatitis B; meningococcal disease ; Chickenpox; HPV; Pneumococcal disease; Shingles and influenza.

Meanwhile, there are risk groups and plans for other specific situations, which are also analyzed in the study “Updating lifetime vaccination costs in Spain in 2023” prepared by researchers from the Ministry of Health and the Spanish Ministry of Health. Carlos III Health Institute.

To measure the value of vaccination, the burden of morbidity and mortality prevented needs to be considered as well as other factors such as social inequalities, avoided absenteeism, health care utilization or long-term disability.

Under this premise, based on 100% coverage, the cost of vaccinating all target groups within one year is expected to be approximately 565 million euros (plus another 500 million euros for the immunization of those born in 2023), accounting for 23% of the total health %Expenditure on preventive and public health services accounts for only 0.5% of total health expenditure.

In 2019, the average costs for procedures related to vaccination-preventable diseases, such as hospitalization for bacterial meningitis or influenza, were €9,711 and €3,276 respectively.

“Thus, although modifications to vaccination programs have resulted in substantial increases in spending, this represents only a small proportion of total health spending,” the authors emphasize.

As the HPV vaccine becomes more widely available, the only difference between women and men now is the recommended immunizations during pregnancy (dTpa – diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis – and influenza).

The estimated cost of vaccinating a healthy person is therefore €1,519, which is 125% higher than the pre-pandemic average cost of €675; the value reaches €1,541.56 for women (€230 from administration) and €1,498.18 for men ( Wear 216 euros).

Broken down by age, the average fee is €839 for under 14s and €596.50 for those aged 15 to 83.

Meanwhile, the most costly risk conditions are asplenia and complement deficiency and primary immunodeficiency (€3,159.8 and €2,566 respectively).

From 282 euros for flu to 6 euros for whooping cough

Not all vaccines or recipients have the same impact on this cost. The study included VAT-exclusive prices for each drug, of which almost 15% corresponded to the average cost of administration (approximately €6, except for influenza in adults, which was €108).

– Hexavalent vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B and hepatitis B): given at 2, 4 and 11 months, costing €29.95 per injection.

– Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis/poliomyelitis (dTpa/VPI) at 6 years of age for children vaccinated at 2, 4 and 11 months at a cost of €22.29.

– Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (VNC13): 3 punctures for infants aged 2, 4 and 6 months, worth €42.85 each.

For people over 65 years of age, the pneumococcal disease (VN) vaccine costs €15.45.

– Meningococcal disease

Children of 2, 4 and 12 months of age in serogroup B (MenB) should be vaccinated at a cost of €68/dose.

Serogroup C (MenC) is suitable for infants aged 2 and 4 months and costs 17 euros per dose.

The ACWY meningococcal vaccine is given at age 12 and costs €32.30 per injection.

– Measles, rubella and mumps (MMR, TV): the price of a dose after 12 months is 10.48 euros; at 12 years of age, it rises to 36.7 with chickenpox (VZV).

– Chickenpox (VVZ): at 15 months, worth €24.99.

– HPV: two doses of vaccine at age 12 cost €90.

– The cost of dTpa for pregnant women is €17.79.

– Pertussis (Td) for 14 and over 65 years worth €5.59.

– Herpes zoster (HZ): for persons over 65 years old, the price is 260 euros.

– Influenza: the cost for adults rises to 280 euros.

The cost drops to €70.39 for pediatric patients and €11.31 for pregnant women.

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