A comprehensive review of the economics of cholera and cholera prevention concluded that vaccination using oral cholera vaccines can be cost-effective, especially when herd effects are taken into account and when vaccination is administered to populations and age groups with high incidence rates (e.g., children) and to areas with high cholera case fatality rates.
A study using local epidemiological and economic data found that vaccinating children 1-14 years old in high-risk slum areas in Dhaka, Bangladesh using a locally-produced oral cholera vaccine provided through periodic campaigns would be a highly cost-effective means of controlling endemic cholera — reducing cholera incidence in the entire population by 45% over 10 years and costing US$440-635 per DALY averted. Vaccinating all persons aged one and above would reduce incidence much further (by 91%) but would be less cost-effective.
The presence of malnourishment correlates with the severity of cholera illness. Additional factors include the number of V. cholerae bacteria ingested, lack of immunity from prior exposure or vaccination, pregnancy, lack of breast-feeding, immunocompromised state, reduced ability to produce gastric acid, and having blood group O.
According to a modeled data study on cholera transmission in Bangladesh, a cholera vaccination program for 1-14 year olds in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh involving periodic (every 3 years) campaigns would reduce cholera incidence in adults living in these areas by 40% due to the herd effects of oral cholera vaccines.
In rural Malawi, even though medical care for cholera is free-of-charge in the public sector, more than half of families had to borrow money or sell livestock or other assets to compensate for the lost wages of patients or caregivers and other costs (such as for food and transportation) incurred as a result of an episode of cholera.
A study of a cholera outbreak in Peru in 1991-92 estimates that the national economy conservatively suffered more than US$50 million in economic losses due to reduced tourism revenue, reduced revenue on export of goods and lower domestic consumption as a result of the outbreak of cholera.
A study of the economic burden of cholera in Africa found that 110,837 cases of cholera reported in 2007 resulted in an economic loss of $43.3 million, $60 million and $72.7 million US dollars, assuming life expediencies of 40, 53 and 73 years respectively.
The evidence on cholera disease dynamics suggests that significant herd protection can result from a relatively small number of immunizations, particularly in endemic areas where there is some natural immunity among the population.
A multi-site study of cholera vaccination programs found that the vaccine was cost-effective in school- and community-based vaccination programs for children in India, Mozambique, and Indonesia.
This paper presents the first cost-benefit comparison of improved water supply investments and cholera vaccination programs. The modeling results showed that improved water supply interventions combined with targeted cholera vaccination programs are much more likely to yield attractive cost-benefit ratio outcomes than a community-based vaccination program alone.