Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out in South Africa beginning in February 2021. In this study we retrospectively assessed the cost-effectiveness of the vaccination programme in its first two years of implementation. METHOD: We modelled the costs, expressed in 2021 US$, and health outcomes of the COVID-19 vaccination programme compared to a no vaccination programme scenario. The study was conducted from a public payer's perspective over two time-horizons - nine months (February to November 2021) and twenty-four months (February 2021 to January 2023). Health outcomes were estimated from a disease transmission model parameterised with data on COVID-19-related hospitalisations and deaths and were converted to disability adjusted life years (DALYs). Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (DSA and PSA) were conducted to assess parameter uncertainty. RESULTS: Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was estimated at US$1600 per DALY averted during the first study time horizon. The corresponding ICER for the second study period was estimated at US$1300 per DALY averted. When 85% of all excess deaths during these periods were included in the analysis, ICERs in the first and second study periods were estimated at US$1070 and US$660 per DALY averted, respectively. In the PSA, almost 100% of simulations fell below the estimated opportunity cost-based cost-effectiveness threshold for South Africa (US$2300 DALYs averted). COVID-19 vaccination programme cost per dose had the greatest impact on the ICERs. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that South Africa's COVID-19 vaccination programme represented good value for money in the first two years of rollout.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date



COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Resource Allocation, South Africa