Vaccines can save nearly 24 million people from poverty in the world's poorest countries by 2030, according to research published by Harvard University and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in the journal Health Affairs.
Researchers modeled the health and economic impact for 10 diseases – measles, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus, yellow fever, rotavirus, rubella, Hib, pneumococcus, Neisseria meningitides, and Japanese encephalitis – in 41 low and middle income countries and estimated that vaccines administered between 2016 and 2030 would prevent 36 million deaths.
"Vaccines don't just save lives, they also have a huge economic impact on families, communities and economies," Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, said. "A healthy child is more likely to go to school and become a more productive member of society in later life, while their families can avoid the often crippling healthcare costs that diseases can bring.
"As this important study shows, this is enough to save millions of people from the misery of extreme poverty. To realize these figures we now need to redouble our efforts to ensure every child, no matter where they're born, has access to lifesaving vaccines."
Sudden healthcare costs push approximately 150 million people into poverty annually according to the World Healthcare Organization, and vaccines could help reduce medical impoverishment significantly according to the study, which was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"Policy makers should view vaccination policies as important channels for improving health equity and reducing poverty," write the authors.
"With reducing poverty and improving equity on the global development agenda, sustained investments in vaccines could make a large contribution toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and universal health coverage."
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