Value of Immunization: Economics

Topics

A woman carrying vaccines

Search for immunization evidence

The VoICE tool allows you to search for research studies and published evidence based on a topic, location, and disease or vaccine.

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Pneumonia vaccines and poverty

Childhood pneumonia takes the lives of nearly 100 children each hour, and disproportionately affects children in the poorest households. Read on to find out how vaccines protecting against pneumonia can be our secret weapons in the war on poverty.

Learn More

Economics

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The economic impact of vaccine-preventable diseases and of immunization is the second most common theme in messaging used by advocates behind direct morbidity and mortality. Within the topic, however, economic impacts are measured in a great variety of ways that are applied by advocates to a wide array of settings. The Economics topic of VoICE covers system- or national-level measures such as cost-effectiveness, productivity loss and return on investment. We also look at the ways in which poverty and costs of illness are influenced by vaccine-preventable diseases and averted by vaccines, both nationally and for individuals and their families.
Women walking with kids

Cost effectiveness

Cost effectiveness relates to the evaluation of the costs of a specific intervention and the resultant health effects of that intervention. Vaccines are among the most cost-effective health intervention, especially in low-income populations allowing for better Equity between populations. In addition, the added, indirect health impact of some vaccines through Herd Effects simultaneously increases the cost-effectiveness of these vaccines.

Poverty

The Poverty section includes information on the interactions between poverty and vaccine-preventable diseases or immunization. To understand how the costs of treating vaccine-preventable infections (catastrophic health expenditures) can push families into poverty, visit the Cost of Treating Illness section. In addition, visit the Equity section to find data on the increased risk of infectious disease for those living in poverty.

Children standing together

Return on investment

The return-on-investment section presents evidence and arguments comparing the investments made in immunization with the estimated economic gains of that investment. A return on investment often takes into account factors such as cost of treating illness averted, economic growth and productivity gains, societal benefits, etc.

Women walking down road

Cost of treating illness

The Cost of Treating Illness covers the both the economic costs to treat episodes of potentially vaccine-preventable disease, and the power of immunization to help financially protect families from these costs. The evidence on economic costs of illness in this section include both direct medical costs (e.g. medication, healthcare visits) and indirect costs (e.g. transportation, loss of work/productivity). Preventing disease by vaccinating can avert catastrophic health expenditures, thereby alleviating the effects of Poverty, and can relieve the burden on Health Systems by freeing up scarce resources for use in managing other health issues.

Street with people

Economic growth and productivity

This section addresses the relationship between vaccine-preventable diseases or immunization and population-level productivity and economic growth. Productivity is a measure of the output realized by a working individual or population as a whole. It is the most important determinant of the standard of living of a group of people or of a nation. Better health means people are better able to contribute through working output (productivity) and results in rising income levels and increased development status of populations. Since healthy children have better physical and mental development than sick children, health status has a direct impact on Cognition and Educational attainment. The amount of education received in turn affects an individual’s productive and economic potential.

A woman carrying vaccines

Search for immunization evidence

The VoICE tool allows you to search for research studies and published evidence based on a topic, location, and disease or vaccine.

Search VoICE

Pneumonia vaccines and poverty

Childhood pneumonia takes the lives of nearly 100 children each hour, and disproportionately affects children in the poorest households. Read on to find out how vaccines protecting against pneumonia can be our secret weapons in the war on poverty.

Learn More