Immunization Billing Project Releases White Paper: Human and Economic Burden of Four Major Adult VPD in Illinois

The Immunization Billing Project has released a white paper entitled: Human and Economic Burden of Four Major Adult Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPD) in Illinois, 2013. 

You can find information on the white paper and a link to the paper below.

Please contact Phil Talley ( if you have any questions.


Human and Economic Burden of Four Major Adult Vaccine Prevetable Diseases in IL.pdf



Executive Summary


There is a substantial economic burden associated with infectious diseases. This economic burden can be measured in both direct (medical) costs and indirect (non-medical) costs. The direct costs include the amount of money spent on treatment and the medical resources required to treat these diseases. The indirect costs include lost income, loss of productivity, and other social and economic impacts caused by these diseases.

Vaccinations are a proven method for preventing the spread of infectious diseases. In spite of this, many adults still remain unvaccinated. In the United States (US), an estimated $9 billion was spent in 2015 towards health costs from diseases that can be prevented through immunizations. Influenza alone accounts for $ 5.8 billion. In this paper, we discuss the estimated human and economic burden of four adult vaccine preventable diseases (VPD) in Illinois based on the 2013 population Census data. In 2013, the estimated economic burden from these four major VPDs account for over a billion dollars in the form of direct and indirect costs.


We derived burden of disease estimates for four major adult VPDs: i) influenza, ii) pneumococcal disease (both invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia), iii) herpes zoster (shingles), and iv) pertussis (whooping cough). We obtained estimates of adult VPD incidence and associated costs from the literature (e.g., national disease surveillance programs or large US administrative claims databases) for each of the four diseases. To estimate the number of cases for each adult VPD for a given population, we multiplied age-specific historical incidence rates obtained from the literature for influenza (1994-2000), pneumococcal disease (2003-2006), herpes zoster (1996-2005), and pertussis (2006-2010) by age-specific 2013 Census population data. We then multiplied the estimated number of cases for a given population by age-specific, estimated medical and indirect costs per case. Medical costs represent estimated costs for diagnostic and treatment services linked to a diagnosis of one of the four adult VPDs. We derived indirect cost estimates by combining work-loss data with economic productivity data, including wages, fringe benefits/supplements, and household productivity. Neither mortality costs (i.e., the value of future income lost by premature death) nor leisure time costs (i.e., the value of time spent when not working forgone by illness) were included in indirect cost calculations. Thus, for each disease, we developed three primary estimates to populate the cost model: i) the estimated number of cases for a given population per year, ii) the estimated medical costs of a single case (i.e., diagnostic and treatment services related to a particular diagnosis), and iii) estimated indirect costs associated with a single case. The combination of these three estimates provided the backbone for the economic model that estimated the annual burden of adult VPD from a societal perspective. For each of the four major adult VPDs, results were presented for two age groups: i) 50 and older; ii) 65 and older. As a final measure, all cost estimates were adjusted to 2013 US dollars using the medical Consumer Price Index.


Estimated annual cost in Illinois in 2013 for the four adult VPDs was $1.1 billion among adults aged 50 and older, $600.4 million (57%) of which was attributable to adults 65 and older. Among adults aged 50 and older, influenza, pneumococcal disease, herpes zoster, and pertussis made up 60%, 19%, 19%, and 1% of the cost, respectively. Among those aged 65 and older, they made up 54%, 25%, 20%, and 1% of the cost, respectively (Table 2). Most (80% or greater) pneumococcal costs stemmed from non-bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia.


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