Vaccinating infants significantly reduces hospitalizations from pneumonia

According to a study using local epidemiological data in China, vaccinating infants with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-13), using a 3+1 schedule, would prevent more than 10 times as many deaths from invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia in unvaccinated individuals (147,500 per year) than it would prevent directly in those vaccinated (12,800 per year). This would be due mainly to a reduction in hospitalizations for pneumonia.

Immunizing infants and older age groups against typhoid can save costs and be economically justifiable

The first study of the cost-effectiveness of typhoid conjugate vaccines found that routinely immunizing infants at 9 months of age would actually save costs in 2 settings (Delhi, India and a rural area of Vietnam), due to high incidence or high hospitalization rates, and would be cost-effective in the study’s 3 other sites (in India and Kenya). Adding a one-time catch-up campaign for various older age groups would still save costs in Delhi and Vietnam, and increase the cost-effectiveness in the others, making it economically justifiable.

Immunization reduced hospitalization disparities for children from ethnic minorities

In New Zealand, Maori and Pacific children have historically suffered high hospitalization rates for invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), all cause pneumonia (ACP), and otitis media. Following the introduction of conjugate vaccines in the country, Maori and Pacific children’s rates of admission for IPD dropped by 79% and 67%, respectively, while significant reductions in ACP and otitis media admissions were also noted, resulting in reductions in disparities for these populations.

Immunization can prevent families from facing financial hardship due to expensive medical treatments

Costs for treatment for rotavirus at a large urban hospital in Malaysia led one third of families to experience catastrophic health expenditures (CHC). When direct and indirect costs of treating rotavirus were considered, almost 9 in 10 families spent more than 10% of their monthly household income on treating rotavirus. In addition, 6% of families were pushed into poverty after paying for treatment.

Immunization against rotavirus has led to significant decreases in hospital admissions and gastroenteritis cases

Several countries have seen a significant decrease in the number of rotavirus-related hospital admissions in rotavirus unvaccinated children ages 2-5 years who were not age eligible to receive the vaccine post introduction. The US had a 41-92% decrease, Australia had a 30-70% decrease, Belgium had a 20-64% decrease, Austria had a 35% reduction and El Salvador had a 41-81% decrease. In addition, there was a reduction in hospitalizations due to gastroenteritis of any cause by 17-51% in the US and 40% in Australia.

Empowering women can lead to greater vaccination rates in children

In a systematic review of qualitative research from low- and middle-income countries, women’s low social status was shown to be a barrier to their children accessing vaccinations. Specific barriers included access to education, income, resource allocation, and autonomous decision-making related to time. The authors suggest that expanding the responsibility for children’s health to both parents (mothers and fathers) may be one important element in removing persistent barriers to immunization often faced by mothers.

Vaccination linked to higher IQ and language scores

Vaccination of children in the Philippines against 6 diseases was found to significantly increase IQ and language scores (compared to children receiving no vaccinations) and was estimated to have a 21% rate of return.

Vaccinated children performed better on several cognitive tests

In a study of immunization in the Philippines, children vaccinated against 6 diseases performed significantly better on verbal reasoning, math, and language tests than those who were unvaccinated. (note: Researchers did not find an association with physical growth.)