Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Billions Of Dollars Saved In United States By Polio Vaccination

Date:
January 20, 2007
Source:
Harvard School of Public Health
Summary:
A new study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) finds that polio vaccination in the United States has resulted in a net savings of over $180 billion, even without including the large, intangible benefits associated with avoided fear and suffering.

A new study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) finds that polio vaccination in the United States has resulted in a net savings of over $180 billion, even without including the large, intangible benefits associated with avoided fear and suffering. This first study to retrospectively demonstrate the enormous benefits of polio vaccination appears as part of a special issue on polio in the December 2006 issue of Risk Analysis.

Related Articles


The history of polio vaccination in the U.S. spans over 50 years and includes different phases of the disease, multiple vaccines, and a sustained significant commitment of financial resources. Lead author of the study, Kimberly Thompson, associate professor of risk analysis and decision science at HSPH, emphasized that this study "should help people understand and better appreciate the huge economic savings that can come from investments in public health interventions."

The researchers, Professor Thompson and Dr. Radboud Duintjer Tebbens, a research associate at HSPH, estimated the costs and the effectiveness of historical polio vaccination strategies. They found that the U.S. invested over $35 billion between 1955 and 2005 and will continue to invest billions into the future to pay for polio vaccination. They estimated that these historical and future investments translate into over 1.7 billion vaccinations that prevent approximately 1.1 million cases of paralytic polio and over 160,000 deaths, thus saving Americans hundreds of billions of dollars in treatment costs.

Dr. Stephen Cochi, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global Immunization Division Senior Advisor and an expert on polio said, "This study documents the extraordinary power of vaccines not only as highly effective tools to prevent disease, disability, and death, but to provide enormous economic savings to society."

Although the last case of paralytic polio from wild poliovirus occurred in the U.S. in 1979, poliovirus outbreaks currently still occur around the world and American children continue to receive polio vaccinations. Dr. Bruce Aylward, Director of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative at the World Health Organization, stated that, "as we stand on the brink of eliminating wild polioviruses around the world, these results provide a glimpse of the massive economic benefits of global polio eradication." To date, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has succeeded in reducing the annual cases of paralytic polio from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to less than 2,000 cases in 2006. The only remaining areas of the world that have not yet disrupted transmission include regions in four countries (Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan).

Thompson and Duintjer Tebbens also co-authored several other articles in the same issue that characterize the risks and costs of future options for polio risk management, the costs and value of global surveillance, and the trade-offs associated with different choices related to outbreak response.

Support for this study was provided by the Harvard Kids Risk Project (http://www.kidsrisk.harvard.edu/). Support for other studies by the authors in the special issue was provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Harvard School of Public Health. "Billions Of Dollars Saved In United States By Polio Vaccination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070119144353.htm>.
Harvard School of Public Health. (2007, January 20). Billions Of Dollars Saved In United States By Polio Vaccination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070119144353.htm
Harvard School of Public Health. "Billions Of Dollars Saved In United States By Polio Vaccination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070119144353.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins