In a recent blog post on Shot of Prevention, Amy Pisani Executive Director of Every Child By Two and co-editor of Shot of Prevention recounts the devastation caused by the Pertussis outbreak ravaging the nation and the recent rise in measles cases, particularly the case this past week of a New Mexico resident who contracted Measles while traveling abroad. Unfortunately these recent outbreaks are stark reminders that while vaccines keep diseases at bay, vaccine preventable diseases continue to pose a serious threat to public health. And while some of us might not know firsthand the devastating effects of polio or a full-fledged measles outbreak these diseases can easily resurface and cause substantial harm.
The fact that news stories such as these remain relatively infrequent is a testament to the success of vaccinations. However, we are facing some of the largest budget cuts in our nation’s history and health care programs, including those that fund vaccinations for adults and children risk being drastically reduced. Deep cuts in funding result in a limited accessibility to vaccinations and this coupled with declining vaccination rates due in part to skepticism creates an environment that is clearly not in the best interest of public health. However even from a strictly economic perspective, does a cut in vaccination funding reduce costs in the long run and help eliminate the deficit? “[F]or every $1 spent on the combined measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, $26 in medical costs are sparred,” Pisani states. “DTaP vaccine has a similar savings record, with every $1 spent saving $27 in costs. The entire vaccine schedule for children is estimated to save 9.9 billion dollars in direct costs and 43.3 billion dollars in societal costs over the lifetime of a single-year birth cohort.” In the post “Measles Outbreaks Underscores the Critical Role of Public Health” Amy Pisani considers the rise in vaccine preventable disease in the face of the strenuous budget cuts. The bottom line is that cutting funding for vaccination programs hurts the community and ends up costing more overtime. Read the full post at Shotofprevention.org