VoICE Immunization Evidence: Vaccines Alleviate Health System Pressure
Use of vaccines decreases the need to use health services and treatments, like antibiotics, to treat disease.
Key Evidence: Among 33,000 preschool children in the UK (who received at least one prescription of amoxicillin) there were ~15% fewer amoxicillin prescriptions given during the influenza season to children who had received the live attenuated influenza vaccine than among children who were not vaccinated. This suggests that flu vaccination may lead to a reduction in excess, inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics for influenza in children.
Hardelid P, Ghebremichael-Weldeselassie Y, Whitaker H et al. 2018. Effectiveness of live attenuated influenza vaccine in preventing amoxicillin prescribing in preschool children: a self-controlled case series study. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 73.
Key Evidence: Over a four-year period following the introduction of PCV-10 in Finland, purchases of antimicrobials that are recommended for the treatment of acute otitis media (middle-ear infection) for children born during these years fell by nearly 18%, compared to pre-vaccine years, and the rate of surgeries to place ear tubes for severe cases fell 15%. Although it is considered a mild disease, acute otitis media caused by pneumococcus is 1,000 times more common in young children than invasive pneumococcal disease, such as pneumonia or meningitis, and thus the public health impact of the vaccine in reducing otitis media cases and in saving health care costs is considerable.
Palmu AA, Rinta-Kokiko H, Nohynek H et al. 2018. Impact of national ten-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine program on reducing antimicrobial use and tympanostomy tube placement in Finland. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 37(1).
Key Evidence: In a study of nearly 40,000 recipients of PCV7 and control subjects in northern California, there was a 5.4% reduction in the number of antibiotic prescriptions and a 12.6% reduction in the use of “second-line antibiotics” among children who received the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Between the time the first dose was administered and the age of 3.5 years, use of the vaccine prevented 35 antibiotic prescriptions per 100 fully vaccinated children.
Fireman, B., Black, S.B., Shinefield, H.R., et al 2003. Impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on otitis media. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 22(1):10-6.