Immunization saves money by preventing complications and long-term health issues like hearing loss

An analysis of current measles vaccination program in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang (which provides 1 dose of measles-rubella vaccine at 8 months of age and 1 dose of MMR at 18 months) estimated that, for every dollar spent on immunization, the health system saves $6.06 in treatment costing, including the costs of treating complications and long-term sequelae, such as hearing loss.

The PCV-13 vaccine may increase the susceptibility of antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains

A community-based study in Vietnam found a high percent of children under five years of age were carrying pneumococcal bacteria in their noses and throats that were non-susceptible to commonly-used antibiotics. Of the strains tested, 18% were not susceptible to penicillin, 26% weren’t susceptible to cefotaxime, 76% were not susceptible to meropenem and 14% were not susceptible to all three nor to any of the “macrolide” drugs (e.g., erthromycin and azithromycin). However, 90% of the multi-drug resistant strains are serotypes that are in the 13-strain pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-13) and thus the introduction of a vaccine is expected to increase the susceptibility of circulating strains of the bacteria.

Children in rural-urban migrant populations in China, India, and Nigeria have lower immunization rates, requiring special efforts to improve vaccination rates and reduce health inequities and disease outbreaks

According to a systematic review and meta-analysis, children who are rural-urban migrants in China, India and Nigeria were less likely to be fully-immunized by the age of one year than non-migrant urban residents and the general population. These inequities in vaccination rates — often concealed in national averages — call for special efforts to improve immunization rates in this rapidly growing sub-population to reduce both health inequities and the risk of infectious disease outbreaks in the wider society.

Dengue illness is costly for low-income families, but immunization can help reduce the economic burden

In a standardized survey of the costs of dengue illness in three highly endemic countries, the economic burden of dengue was greatest on Vietnamese and Colombian low-income families, whose total costs, including lost wages, outpatient and inpatient cases combined, average 36-45% of their monthly household income. In Thailand, although significant, the economic burden was 17% less than the other countries, due to Thailand’s universal health insurance system.

Adding dTpa vaccination for pregnant women in Australia would prevent thousands of pertussis hospitalizations each year

A study in Australia estimated that adding dTpa vaccination for pregnant women to the current pertussis immunization program for children would prevent an additional 8,800 symptomatic pertussis cases (mostly unreported) and 146 hospitalizations each year in all ages, including infants and their mothers, as well as one death every 22 months. The study found maternal pertussis vaccination to be cost-effective.

Note: The formulation used in this study is abbreviated dTpa.

Vaccinating pregnant women with dTpa vaccine greatly reduces severe pertussis in infants

A case-control study in the state of New South Wales, Australia estimated that vaccination of pregnant women with the dTpa vaccine at 28-32 weeks of pregnancy was highly effective in preventing severe pertussis in infants less than 6 months of age — with a vaccine efficacy rate of 94% against pertussis hospitalizations — and 69% effective in preventing the disease of any severity in infants less than 3 months old.

Note: The formulation used in this study is abbreviated dTpa.

Despite the introduction of a vaccine, newborns in New Zealand still have a high rate of pneumococcal disease Maternal vaccination could help protect these infants

Despite the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in the childhood immunization program in New Zealand, the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in neonates (<30 days old) remains relatively high at 6 per 100,000 (versus 2/100,000 in the U.S.). Out of 19 cases in infants <30 days old in this study, 9 (47%) occurred during the first 7 days of life and 6 within the first 48 hours. If proven effective, maternal vaccination would cover 74% to 84% of the serotypes that infected these infants, depending on the vaccine.