Vaccine prices: A systematic review of literature

Rabia Hussain, Nadeem Irfan Bukhari, Anees ur Rehman, Mohamed Azmi Hassali, Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Vaccines are among the most vital interventions to control and reduce the morbidity and mortality worldwide. In accessing vaccines, pricing is usually the single most important deciding element. However, there is a scarcity of the literature on the vaccines pricing. The current study aims to review vaccine prices from the published literature and to evaluate factors that impact the pricing of vaccines. The literature (from 2015–2020) was reviewed to identify the original research articles. Systematic searches were conducted across the five databases including, Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus and Springer Link. Literature search yielded 23,626 articles, of which 7351 were screened and 7310 articles were excluded based on title and abstracts relevance. The 41 studies were selected for full text review and 4 studies were found to meet the inclusion criteria. The included studies discussed vaccine prices for childhood vaccines, for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in US, China and in Europe. One study detailed the various scenarios of the HPV vaccines pricing. It was found that recently introduced vaccines have higher prices owing to the involvement of technology and research for their manufacture. However, prices tended to decrease over some maturation in price and by the involvement of Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI) and other allies. The prices of vaccines in China were much lower than the other high-income countries and the prices offered through United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), mainly due to the large scale of demand in China. The affordable prices of vaccines were related to delicate procedures involving multiple stakeholders and a shorter duration of contract. This review systematically evaluated the literature and identified key factors that could impact vaccines pricing. The prices were higher for the newly introduced vaccines into the market. However, with the price maturation, there was a decline in the pricing and affordable prices could be achieved through tender pricing and involvement of GAVI and other allies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number629
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Early online date29 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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