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Cases of poverty caused by diseases like hepatitis B, measles and meningitis A would see the greatest impact, scientists said. And the measles vaccine itself is estimated to prevent the highest number of deaths — 22 million of the 36 million total.
"Vaccines don't just save lives, they also have a huge economic impact on families, communities and economies," Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, said in a news release. "A healthy child is more likely to go to school and become a more productive member of society in later life, while their families can avoid the often crippling healthcare costs that diseases can bring."
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In 2016, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that for every dollar spent on immunization, $16 is saved in health care costs, lost wages and lost productivity due to illness. That return on investment jumps to $44 per one dollar spent when you factor in the benefits of people living longer, healthier lives.
According to UNICEF, 1.5 million children die every year because they were not vaccinated and approximately 400 children still die every day from measles. But with routine immunization through UNICEF and international and governmental support, the number of deaths from measles has decreased by 71 percent since 2000.
"We now need to redouble our efforts to ensure every child, no matter where they're born, has access to lifesaving vaccines," Berkley said.
Read the full Gavi brief at ip-watch.org.