Vaccines Save Lives, Money

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (UPI) — Vaccines prevent at least 3 million deaths and save 750,000 children from disability annually worldwide, a U.S. non-profit group says.

Officials at Research!America — a public education organization that advocated for making health research a higher national priority — say routine U.S. vaccination rates are increasing among teens ages 13-17 but for many diseases, vaccination rates are far below the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation of 90 percent.

“With kids heading back to school and flu season fast approaching, now is a good time to remind readers of the importance of vaccines and disease prevention,” a statement from the Research!America says. “Vaccine prevention is one of the most proven and effective methods for saving lives and money. Experts consistently point to disease prevention as the key to reining in healthcare costs and improving quality of life.”

The seven vaccines given to U.S. children save $53 billion in direct and societal costs over the lifetime of those born in a single year, officials of Research!America say.

In the United States in the 1950s, smallpox had a mortality rate of 30 percent and affected 50 million people annually, but by 1979, the disease was eradicated due to the global vaccination program.

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