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.”
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.