Vaccines are considered to be 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 can be difficult for the average American to have enough 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 — and the savings incurred by vaccinating — and the results were eye-opening. The study found that the cost per hospitalization for infection with influenza type B, a serious bacterial illness, 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. As far as finances are concerned, vaccinations to children born over a 20-year period will save nearly $295 billion indirect costs, which includes avoided hospitalizations and other medical care, and a whopping $1.4 trillion in total costs to society, such as lost wages and decreased productivity — by any measure, that is 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 where they start is the most effective and least costly way to prevent disease and save lives at home and abroad — and its the right thing to do.”
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