Helping researchers to cost immunization campaigns through methodological guidance

24 May 2022

Immunization campaigns are a vital delivery strategy to improve coverage and decrease morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases. Campaigns are used frequently to administer a variety of lifesaving vaccines such as measles, cholera, yellow fever, and Covid-19. Immunization campaigns require significant resources over a short period of time. Inadequate funding can decrease a campaign’s effectiveness, and a low-impact campaign may be a considerable waste of resources. 

It is crucial that the costs of different immunization campaigns are accurately estimated to inform planning, budgeting, and resource mobilization. Although various guidance documents cover the costing of health interventions and routine immunization programs specifically, none discuss the specifics of costing immunization campaigns.  

The How to Cost an Immunization Campaign guide released as part of the ICAN project in 2021 offers methodological advice for field researchers, country practitioners, and academics worldwide on costing an immunization campaign. Learnings from campaign costing studies in India, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone were used to inform the guidance. This guide complements the literature on costing studies with specific methodological considerations for immunization campaigns, clear instructions fitting potential scenarios, and concrete examples. It is intended to improve the standardization of campaign costing processes and reporting, enhance the availability and comparability of evidence, and improve its use by country and global stakeholders.  

The guide is also accompanied by practical tips for costing studies, information on the differences between routine immunization and campaign costing, FAQs on campaign costing, data collection tools at facility, district, state, and national levels plus user manual, and practical examples on how to annualize capital costs and calculate unit costs in Excel, and run a calibration exercise in R. 

You can find out more about ThinkWell’s work on campaign costing here.