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From Health Affairs:

The Economic Burden Of US Adult Vaccine Avoidance:  $8.95 Billion In 2015

Bethesda, MD—According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 42 percent of US adults ages 18 and older received the flu vaccine in the 2015–16 flu season. This is just one example of US adults’ not receiving vaccinations at recommended levels, which can lead to avoidable costs of doctor visits, hospitalizations, and lost productivity. A new study, being released as a Web First by Health Affairs, sought to calculate the annual economic burden of diseases associated with ten vaccines that protect against fourteen different pathogens and are recommended by the CDC for adults. According to the authors, in 2015 the economic burden was $8.95 billion, and unvaccinated people were responsible for almost 80 percent of that burden ($7.1 billion). The exhibit below shows the dollar amounts attributable to the different pathogens.The authors used various nationwide databases, literatures, and developed a model, detailed in the study, to arrive at their calclulation of the economic burden.

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

By Sachiko Ozawa, Allison Portnoy, Hiwote Getaneh, Samantha Clark, Maria Knoll, David Bishai,
H. Keri Yang, and Pallavi D. Patwardhan

Ozawa is affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Portnoy is a doctoral student at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health; Getaneh is with MDRC, in New York; Clark, Knoll, and Bishai are affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Yang and Patwardhan are with Merck.

This study, which was funded by Merck, will also appear in the November issue of Health Affairs.

“This review not only estimated the direct costs and productivity losses due to inpatient and outpatient visits associated with vaccine-preventable diseases…but examined this across all vaccines recommended for US adults,” the authors noted. “It highlights the need for US adults to better appreciate the value of vaccines to prevent economic burden.”

About Health Affairs

Health Affairs is the leading journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy. Published by Project HOPE, the peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print and online, with frequent Web First studies and health policy briefs published at The full text of each Health Affairs Web First paper is available free of charge to all website visitors for a one-week period following posting, it then switches to pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. You can also find the journal on Facebook and Twitter. Read daily perspectives on Health Affairs Blog. Download our podcasts, including monthly Narrative Matters essays, on iTunes. Tap into Health Affairs content with the iPad app.