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Addressing Barriers To Successful Immunization Programs Important While Vaccine Development Progresses

Immunizations can be a cost-effective means of disease prevention, but “[t]o reach the fully realized stage of cost-effectiveness, … it is vital to acknowledge — and more importantly, address — the barriers that often prevent them from either being as cheap or as widely used as needed,” Forbes contributor Sarika Bansal writes in a Forbes opinion piece. She cites costs associated with vaccines, such as shipping and refrigeration; time and monetary commitments from potential vaccine recipients; a lack of medical professionals in rural areas; and the implementation of public awareness campaigns as barriers to successful immunization campaigns.

“Luckily, many [obstacles] can be overcome with sustained action and a bit of creativity — and in the case of vaccines, several groups are looking to do just this,” Bansal writes, noting efforts by the GAVI Alliance, MIT’s Poverty Action Lab and African governments. “While pharmaceutical companies are busy developing and perfecting vaccines …, other groups should simultaneously improve health systems to allow vaccines to have the strongest possible impact,” she concludes (10/25).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.