Research and experience show that when a decision-maker is considering a new vaccine for their national immunization program their first consideration is the impact that the disease has on their population. Even before they consider how much the vaccine costs or its safety or effectiveness.
This makes perfect sense. The USA could afford a Japanese Encephalitis vaccine but we don’t use it because we don’t have the disease.
Increasingly, the “impact” of vaccines will be measured as much or more by the economic consequences of the disease as by the number of cases or deaths that it prevents. Treatment costs that averted by preventing an illness with vaccines are just the most limited and basic measure of the economic effects of vaccination. A fuller, more comprehensive assessment would include other economic costs like the productivity lost when a child is disabled for life and unable to contribute to a growing economy and benefits like the macroeconomic impact from accelerating the demographic transition and encouraging economic growth in poor countries.
IVAC is actively working to develop a rigorous evidence-base on the economics of vaccines. One small example of our team’s work is included in this this cool new video from the Gates Foundation.
Have a look and see what you think. And help us start the conversation on the importance of economic evaluation of vaccines.