Adding new childhood vaccines to China's National Immunization Program: evidence, benefits, and priorities

Haijun Zhang, Xiaozhen Lai, Bryan N. Patenaude, Mark Jit, Hai Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


China's National Immunization Program has made remarkable achievements but does not include several important childhood vaccines that are readily available in the private market, such as pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), rotavirus vaccine, Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) vaccine, and varicella vaccine. We reviewed the literature to assess these four non-National Immunization Program vaccines in terms of their disease burdens, coverage, inequalities, and cost-effectiveness in China and aimed to recommend priorities for introducing them to the National Immunization Program. Based on our calculations using the available evidence, incorporating these vaccines into China's National Immunization Program in 2019 could have averted 11 761 deaths among children younger than 5 years, accounting for 10·29% of the total deaths in children younger than 5 years and reducing the mortality rate from 7·8 per 1000 to 7·0 per 1000. The review showed that 13-valent PCV (PCV13) had the lowest and most inequitable coverage but could prevent the highest number of deaths. In a budgetary analysis for the cohort of newborns in 2023, we estimated that the projected aggregate government costs were US$1954·92 million for PCV13, $1273·13 million for pentavalent rotavirus vaccine, $415·30 million for Hib vaccine, and $221·64 million for varicella vaccine. Our overall multicriteria decision analysis suggested the following priority order for introducing these four non-programme vaccines to the National Immunization Program to benefit the Chinese population: PCV13, rotavirus vaccine, Hib vaccine, and varicella vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1016-e1024
JournalThe Lancet Public Health
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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