Influenza vaccination in the pediatric emergency department setting appears to be a cost-effective strategy, according to a study published online Nov 6 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Rebecca J. Hart, MD, from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and colleagues compared the cost-effectiveness of four strategies for PED-based influenza vaccine: offering vaccine to all patients, only to patients <5 years, only to high-risk patients (all ages), or to no patients. Estimates were based on visits among a hypothetical cohort of children during flu season to a tertiary, urban, freestanding PED with an estimated 60,000 visits per year.

The researchers found that offering influenza vaccine to all eligible patients had the lowest cost ($114.45 per case of influenza averted). This strategy saved $33.51 per case averted versus no vaccination and averaged 27 fewer cases of influenza per 1,000 patients.