Simplified mathematical modelling of uncertainty: cost-effectiveness of covid-19 vaccines in Spain

Julio Emilio Marco-Franco, Pedro P. Barros, Silvia González-De-Julián, Iryna Sabat, David Vivas-Consuelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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When exceptional situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, arise and reliable data is not available at decision-making times, estimation using mathematical models can provide a reasonable reckoning for health planning. We present a simplified model (static but with two-time references) for estimating the cost-effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. A simplified model provides a quick assessment of the upper bound of cost-effectiveness, as we illustrate with data from Spain, and allows for easy comparisons between countries. It may also provide useful comparisons among different vaccines at the marketplace, from the perspective of the buyer. From the analysis of this information, key epidemiological figures, and costs of the disease for Spain have been estimated, based on mortality. The fatality rate is robust data that can alternatively be obtained from death registers, funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematoria. Our model estimates the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) to be 5132 € (4926–5276) as of 17 February 2021, based on the following assumptions/inputs: An estimated cost of 30 euros per dose (plus transport, storing, and administration), two doses per person, efficacy of 70% and coverage of 70% of the population. Even considering the possibility of some bias, this simplified model provides confirmation that vaccination against COVID-19 is highly cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number566
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Best Adjustment of Related Values (BARV)
  • Collective choice
  • Coronavirus
  • Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA)
  • COVID-19 vaccination
  • Discount rate
  • Health economics modelling
  • Healthcare expenditures
  • Incremental Cost Effectiveness Ratio (ICER)
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY)


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