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Study Finds Childhood Immunizations Save Thousands of Lives, Billions of Dollars

3/3/2014 For Release:  March 3, 2014

A new economic analysis of the childhood immunization schedule shows it will prevent 42,000 early deaths and 20 million cases of disease, with a savings of $13.5 billion in direct costs and $68.8 billion in total societal costs in a single cohort. The study, “Economic Evaluation of the Routine Childhood Immunization Program in the United States, 2009,” in the April 2014 Pediatrics (published online March 3), used population-based vaccination coverage, vaccine efficacy data, historical data on disease incidence before vaccination, and disease incidence data after vaccination to calculate the lifetime economic impact of vaccinating a hypothetical cohort of all U.S. children born in 2009. The study updates a prior analysis published in 2005. Researchers conclude that from a societal perspective, the average savings per dollar spent on vaccination is at least $10. According to the study authors, “the vaccines currently recommended for young children represent not only a major public health victory in terms of disease prevention, but also an excellent public health ‘buy’ in terms of dollars and cents.”

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.