Vaccines are arguably one of the greatest human inventions of all time. Every year, vaccines prevent more than 2.5 million unnecessary deaths. Additionally, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that among children born over the last 20 years, vaccinations will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths.
Without a doubt, vaccines are an integral part of the US healthcare system. Unfortunately, when it comes to day-to-day healthcare expenses, it’s difficult for many Americans to cover certain medical costs. Thankfully, vaccines have now become not only lifesaving but money-saving as well!
According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers examined the total costs associated with a variety of vaccine-preventable diseases. The study also looked at the savings incurred by vaccinating. The results were eye-opening. For example, costs per hospitalization for infection with influenza B can cost as much as $43,000. Thanks to routine vaccination, an estimated 19,000 cases of flu type B will be prevented over the lifetimes of children born in 2009, resulting in an estimated $1.8 billion in savings.
According to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), in the US alone, approximately 42,000 of the 4.1 million children born each year would die as a result of diseases that could be prevented with vaccines. Financially speaking, child vaccinations over a 20-year period will save nearly $295 billion indirect costs. This includes avoided hospitalizations and other medical care. It also includes a whopping $1.4 trillion in total costs to society, such as lost wages and decreased productivity. By any measure, that imposes a significant cost to society.
“Thanks to the Vaccines for Children program (VFC), children in our country are no longer at significant risk from diseases that once killed thousands each year,” said Tom Frieden, MD and Director of the CDC. “Stopping outbreaks is the most effective and least costly way to prevent disease and save lives at home and abroad. And it’s the right thing to do.”
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