Routine Varicella Immunization And The Impact on Its Epidemiology, Medical Expenditure And Social Costs in Taiwan, 2000–2012

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.201809_34(18).0001

En-Tzu Wang1, Ting-Ann Wang1, Yi-Hui Shen1, Chi-Tai Fang2,3*, Chin-Hui Yang1*

2018 Vol.34 NO.18

Correspondence Author: Chi-Tai Fang2,3*, Chin-Hui Yang1*

  • 1Division of Acute Infectious Diseases,Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taiwan


Varicella vaccine has been approved in Taiwan since 1997 and was introduced into routine immunization program to provide as a free, 1-dose vaccination for 1-year-old children throughout Taiwan since 2004. Information of varicella patients from 2000 to 2012 at National Health Insurance Database were retrieved including the epidemiological characteristics, medical expense and indirect costs from the societal perspective of varicella were analyzed. The implementation of routine varicella immunization has resulted an 87% decline in morbidity. The average age of varicella patients increased from 7.9 years to 16.3 years. The varicella-related hospital admissions decreased, but admission rate increased. Varicella patients with underlying diseases had higher admission rates and longer duration of hospital stay. The annual varicella-related medical expense declined after 2002 and the proportion of medical costs for admission has increased. The estimated indirect costs from the societal perspective of varicella were 8.3 times higher than varicella-related medical expense. The results will be a reference for revising the national immunization policy.