Vaccine Public Health Victory

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Story Updated: Mar 4, 2014

America's current childhood vaccination program could be more than just a victory against disease researchers say it's also a huge economic success.

A new analysis- published in Pediatrics estimated the projected lifetime costs and savings that would be generated by vaccinating more than 4 million infants born in 2009. Big expenses included vaccine production, healthcare administration, and parental work loss. But the dollars out were dwarfed by the dollars in as vaccinating the 2009 group against classic preventable diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria, polio, measles, hepatitis A and the like was estimated to ultimately save $13.5 billion directly and another $69 billion in total societal costs.

How? By preventing roughly 42,000 early deaths, and 20 million cases of disease. In fact, the investigators concluded that, on average, for every dollar spent on childhood vaccines the U.S. stands to gain at least $10 in benefit.

Given that some parents are still reluctant to get their child vaccinated these findings may offer public health workers a decidedly practical argument for making the case in favor of childhood immunizations.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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