A recently published study in the journal of Health Affairs has used the projected vaccination rates of 94 low- and middle-income countries for the period 2011 to 2020 to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of vaccine usage. The results show that for every US dollar spent on vaccines, societies save up to 44 dollars, making vaccines a worthwhile investment in both monetary and social terms.
The study specifically looked at 10 vaccine-preventable diseases: Haemophilus influenza type b, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus, Japanese encephalitis, measles, Neisseria meningitis serogroup A, rotavirus, rubella, Streptococcus pneumoniae and yellow fever.
The research team responsible for the study assessed the “cost-of-illness” (e.g. the cost of treatment, the cost of productivity losses etc.) and found that every US dollar spent on vaccines resulted in a 16 US dollar return on investment. When the research team furthermore looked at how vaccinations provide broader economic and social benefits and enable people to live longer, more productive and healthier lives, the return on investment was an impressive 44 dollars for every dollar spent. This calculation already includes all costs that are made for developing, producing, distributing and administering vaccines.
An interview with the lead author of the study can be found here.