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March 8, 2016

Immunization Policy and the Importance of Sustainable Vaccine Pricing

Author Affiliations
  • 1Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2016;315(10):981-982. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0469

The individual, societal, and economic benefits of disease prevention resulting from childhood and adult immunization programs in the United States are without question. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describing the benefits of vaccination of the 2009 birth cohort through 18 years of age estimated that 20 million cases of vaccine-preventable disease will not occur, 42 000 early deaths related to these diseases will be avoided, and $76 billion in direct and indirect costs will be averted.1 This economic benefit stands in stark contrast to the comparatively small cost for vaccine purchases. The estimated vaccine purchasing cost for a similar birth cohort based on 2015 pricing is $7.8 billion, based on CDC costs, and $11.6 billion at private sector pricing (eTable in the Supplement).2

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