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Keywords:

  • Poultry worker;
  • avian influenza;
  • immunization;
  • seasonal influenza vaccine;
  • pandemic influenza;
  • options appraisal

Summary

Avian influenza A (H5N1) has spread to the UK causing outbreaks in commercial poultry. Vaccination of poultry workers with seasonal influenza has been advised to prevent a viral mutation that could facilitate human-to-human transmission, causing a new pandemic strain. This project aimed to determine delivery options and costs of a vaccination programme targeted at poultry workers. Data from the Great Britain Poultry Register were used to understand the distribution of the target population. A stakeholders group in the East of England (EoE) discussed delivery options. An options appraisal is used to prioritize these options. There are over 10 000 poultry workers distributed throughout the EoE. Five delivery options were considered (industry’s occupational health services, via general practitioners as a Directed or Locally Enhanced Services, via other community healthcare providers and a commercial provider). Delivery is likely to cost between £35 414 and £182 899 (or £10.18–£48.93 per person vaccinated) in the EoE, depending on delivery mechanism, target threshold and level of uptake. Delivering through a commercial provider was the preferred option. Whichever way the programme is delivered it should be cost-neutral to the Primary Care Trust (PCT). Otherwise PCTs may see themselves having to prioritize between vaccinating poultry workers against other pressing programmes.