Vaccines Can Stem Poverty, Not Just Disease, Study Suggests

From Drugs.com - February 13, 2018

Vaccines Can Stem Poverty, Not Just Disease, Study Suggests

TUESDAY, Feb. 13, 2018 -- Vaccines can provide major health and economic benefits for people in low- and middle-income countries, according to a new study by Harvard researchers.

It estimated that increased spending to ensure wider distribution of 10 vaccines in 41 such countries over 15 years could prevent up to 36 million deaths.

This also could keep 24 million people out of poverty caused by medical costs, the study predicted.

The 10 vaccines are those for measles, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus, yellow fever, Hemophilus influenza type b (Hib), Streptococcus pneumoniae, rotavirus, rubella, Neisseria meningitides serogroup A (to prevent meningococcal meningitis) and Japanese encephalitis.

"This study explicitly points at how investing in vaccines in low- and middle-income countries can have a broad health and economic impact," study author Stephane Verguet said in a Harvard news release. He's an assistant professor of global health in the university's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The poorest people would likely derive the most benefit from increased vaccination because they are at higher risk and have limited access to health care, making them more vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases, according to the researchers.


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