Widespread Vaccination Could Save Millions Of Child Lives, Billions Of Dollars, Health Affairs Studies Say

About 6.4 million “children’s lives and billions of dollars could be saved if vaccines were more widely available in 72 of the world’s poorest countries,” according to a series of studies published Thursday in the June 2011 issue of Health Affairs, Reuters reports. In the studies, researchers “projected that if 90 percent of children in those countries were immunized, more than $151 billion in treatment costs and lost productivity could be saved over 10 years, producing economic benefits of $231 billion,” the news service writes (Kelland, 6/9).

According to a Health Affairs press release, the issue “explores the strategies that will be necessary to achieve that goal – from investing in new science and building creative models of vaccine development and financing to improving the ‘supply chains’ that distribute vaccines from manufacturers to the most remote clinics.” The issue was made possible “under the journal’s grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” (6/9).