The value of vaccination

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2011;697:1-8. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-7185-2_1.


Vaccination is most often studied from a scientific, clinical, or epidemiological perspective, and rightly so, for vaccines are meant to improve health outcomes. But these are not the only lenses through which the effects of vaccination programs can be understood. This chapter provides an economic perspective on vaccination programs, detailing in particular a new line of inquiry that makes a case for the importance of vaccination to achieving national economic aims. Research has shown that national spending on childhood vaccination programs does more than just reduce morbidity and mortality in a country: it also promotes national economic growth and poverty reduction. The chapter begins with a look at recent research that demonstrates powerful links that run from population health to economic well-being. Second, it discusses how knowledge of the economic benefits of health fundamentally transforms how we understand the value of vaccination. And third, it provides evidence for the scale of the returns that countries receive when they invest in immunization programs - returns that have not been fully captured by traditional economic analyses.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Mortality / trends*
  • Communicable Disease Control / trends*
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality / trends*
  • Life Expectancy / trends
  • Mass Vaccination / trends*