Cost-Effectiveness of the Second COVID-19 Booster Vaccination in the USA

Rui Li, Pengyi Lu, Christopher K. Fairley, José A. Pagán, Wenyi Hu, Qianqian Yang, Guihua Zhuang, Mingwang Shen, Yan Li, Lei Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective: To assess the cost effectiveness of the second COVID-19 booster vaccination with different age groups. Methods: We developed a decision-analytic Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered (SEIR)-Markov model by five age groups (0–4 years, 5–11 years 12–17 years, 18–49 years, and 50+ years) and calibrated the model by actual mortality in each age group in the USA. We conducted five scenarios to evaluate the cost effectiveness of the second booster strategy and incremental benefits if the strategy would expand to 18–49 years and 12–17 years, from a health care system perspective. The analysis was reported according to the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards 2022 statement. Results: Implementing the second booster strategy for those aged ≥ 50 years cost $823 million but reduced direct medical costs by $1166 million, corresponding to a benefit-cost ratio of 1.42. Moreover, the strategy also resulted in a gain of 2596 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) during the 180-day evaluation period, indicating it was dominant. Further, vaccinating individuals aged 18–49 years with the second booster would result in an additional gain of $1592 million and 8790 QALYs. Similarly, expanding the vaccination to individuals aged 12–17 years would result in an additional gain of $16 million and 403 QALYs. However, if social interaction between all age groups was severed, vaccination expansion to ages 18–49 and 12–17 years would no longer be dominant but cost effective with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $37,572 and $26,705/QALY gained, respectively. Conclusion: The second booster strategy was likely to be dominant in reducing the disease burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. Expanding the second booster strategy to ages 18–49 and 12–17 years would remain dominant due to their social contacts with the older age group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Health Economics and Health Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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