Higher-valency pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in older adults, taking into account indirect effects from childhood vaccination: a cost-effectiveness study for the Netherlands

Pieter T. de Boer*, Cornelis H. van Werkhoven, Albert Jan van Hoek, Mirjam J. Knol, Elisabeth A.M. Sanders, Jacco Wallinga, Hester E. de Melker, Anneke Steens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: New 15- and 20-valent pneumococcal vaccines (PCV15, PCV20) are available for both children and adults, while PCV21 for adults is in development. However, their cost-effectiveness for older adults, taking into account indirect protection and serotype replacement from a switch to PCV15 and PCV20 in childhood vaccination, remains unexamined. Methods: We used a static model for the Netherlands to assess the cost-effectiveness of different strategies with 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23), PCV15, PCV20, and PCV21 for a 65-year-old cohort from a societal perspective, over a 15-year time horizon. Childhood vaccination was varied from PCV10 to PCV13, PCV15, and PCV20. Indirect protection was assumed to reduce the incidence of vaccine serotypes in older adults by 80% (except for serotype 3, no effect), completely offset by an increase in non-vaccine serotype incidence due to serotype replacement. Results: Indirect effects from childhood vaccination reduced the cost-effectiveness of vaccination of older adults, depending on the serotype overlap between the vaccines. With PCV10, PCV13, or PCV15 in children, PCV20 was more effective and less costly for older adults than PPV23 and PCV15. PCV20 costs approximately €10,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained compared to no pneumococcal vaccination, which falls below the conventional Dutch €20,000/QALY gained threshold. However, with PCV20 in children, PCV20 was no longer considered cost-effective for older adults, costing €22,550/QALY gained. As indirect effects progressed over time, the cost-effectiveness of PCV20 for older adults further diminished for newly vaccinated cohorts. PPV23 was more cost-effective than PCV20 for cohorts vaccinated 3 years after the switch to PCV20 in children. PCV21 offered the most QALY gains, and its cost-effectiveness was minimally affected by indirect effects due to its coverage of 11 different serotypes compared to PCV20. Conclusions: For long-term cost-effectiveness in the Netherlands, the pneumococcal vaccine for older adults should either include invasive serotypes not covered by childhood vaccination or become more affordable than its current pricing for individual use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2024


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Economic evaluation
  • Pneumococcal
  • Serotype replacement
  • Vaccination


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