Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective and successful public health solutions available. They save the lives of approximately 2.5 million children each year; for every $1 invested in immunization, there is a $16 return across the lifespan of the immunized child, which includes treatment costs and productivity losses.
With strong U.S. support, global coverage for a vaccine covering three prevalent diseases (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) – used as an indicator for how well countries provide routine immunization services – grew from 20% in 1980 to 86% by the end of 2014. However, 19.4 million children still do not receive a complete set of vaccines. This results in 1.5 million deaths per year from preventable diseases.
U.S. support has also been essential to fast-tracking Ebola and Zika vaccine research efforts, leading us closer to vaccines that could protect against HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases.
Global vaccine programs improve health security by eliminating infectious diseases in low-income countries and the risk of importation, protecting Americans at home and abroad. Immunization systems also respond to emergency outbreaks, providing trained health workers, surveillance strategies, and infrastructure to combat emerging diseases.
Global immunization programs drastically reduce diseases, including rotavirus, pneumococcal disease, whooping cough, diphtheria, Hib, meningitis, polio, measles, rubella, and Japanese encephalitis.