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Health Aff (Millwood). 2016 Nov 1;35(11):2124-2132. Epub 2016 Oct 12.

Modeling The Economic Burden Of Adult Vaccine-Preventable Diseases In The United States.

Author information

1
Sachiko Ozawa (ozawa@unc.edu) is an associate professor in the Division of Practice Advancement and Clinical Education at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
2
Allison Portnoy is a doctoral student in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, in Boston, Massachusetts.
3
Hiwote Getaneh is a technical research analyst at MDRC, in New York City.
4
Samantha Clark is a research associate in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, Maryland.
5
Maria Knoll is an associate scientist in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
6
David Bishai is a professor in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
7
H. Keri Yang is director of the Center for Observational and Real-World Evidence at Merck and Co., Inc., in West Point, Pennsylvania.
8
Pallavi D. Patwardhan is associate director of the Center for Observational and Real-World Evidence at Merck and Co., Inc., in Lebanon, New Jersey.

Abstract

Vaccines save thousands of lives in the United States every year, but many adults remain unvaccinated. Low rates of vaccine uptake lead to costs to individuals and society in terms of deaths and disabilities, which are avoidable, and they create economic losses from doctor visits, hospitalizations, and lost income. To identify the magnitude of this problem, we calculated the current economic burden that is attributable to vaccine-preventable diseases among US adults. We estimated the total remaining economic burden at approximately $9 billion (plausibility range: $4.7-$15.2 billion) in a single year, 2015, from vaccine-preventable diseases related to ten vaccines recommended for adults ages nineteen and older. Unvaccinated individuals are responsible for almost 80 percent, or $7.1 billion, of the financial burden. These results not only indicate the potential economic benefit of increasing adult immunization uptake but also highlight the value of vaccines. Policies should focus on minimizing the negative externalities or spillover effects from the choice not to be vaccinated, while preserving patient autonomy.

KEYWORDS:

Cost of Health Care; Health Economics; Health Spending; Public Health

PMID:
27733424
DOI:
10.1377/hlthaff.2016.0462
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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