The potential epidemiologic, clinical, and economic value of a universal coronavirus vaccine: a modelling study

Submitted by SarahRebbert on Thu, 01/25/2024 - 13:58
Sarah M. Bartsch Kelly J. O'Shea Danielle C. John Ulrich Strych Maria Elena Bottazzi Marie F. Martinez Allan Ciciriello Kevin L. Chin Colleen Weatherwax Kavya Velmurugan Jessie Heneghan Sheryl A. Scannell Peter J. Hotez Bruce Y. Lee
Publication journal
The Lancet's eClinicalMedicine


With efforts underway to develop a universal coronavirus vaccine, otherwise known as a pan-coronavirus vaccine, this is the time to offer potential funders, researchers, and manufacturers guidance on the potential value of such a vaccine and how this value may change with differing vaccine and vaccination characteristics.


Using a computational model representing the United States (U.S.) population, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the various clinical and economic outcomes of COVID-19 such as hospitalisations, deaths, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) lost, productivity losses, direct medical costs, and total societal costs, we explored the impact of a universal vaccine under different circumstances. We developed and populated this model using data reported by the CDC as well as observational studies conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic.


A pan-coronavirus vaccine would be cost saving in the U.S. as a standalone intervention as long as its vaccine efficacy is ≥10% and vaccination coverage is ≥10%. Every 1% increase in efficacy between 10% and 50% could avert an additional 395,000 infections and save $1.0 billion in total societal costs ($45.3 million in productivity losses, $1.1 billion in direct medical costs). It would remain cost saving even when a strain-specific coronavirus vaccine would be subsequently available, as long as it takes at least 2–3 months to develop, test, and bring that more specific vaccine to the market.


Our results provide support for the development and stockpiling of a pan-coronavirus vaccine and help delineate the vaccine characteristics to aim for in development of such a vaccine.

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