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.

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 July 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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