During the 'decade of vaccines,' the lives of 6.4 million children valued at $231 billion could be saved

Sachiko Ozawa, Meghan L Stack, David M Bishai, Andrew Mirelman, Ingrid K Friberg, Louis Niessen, Damian G Walker, Orin S Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Governments constantly face the challenge of determining how much they should spend to prevent premature deaths and suffering in their populations. In this article we explore the benefits of expanding the delivery of life-saving vaccines in seventy-two low- and middle-income countries, which we estimate would prevent the deaths of 6.4 million children between 2011 and 2020. We present the economic benefits of vaccines by using a "value of statistical life" approach, which is based on individuals' perceptions regarding the trade-off between income and increased risk of mortality. Our analysis shows that the vaccine expansion described above corresponds to $231 billion (uncertainty range: $116-$614 billion) in the value of statistical lives saved. This analysis complements results from analyses based on other techniques and is the first of its kind for immunizations in the world's poorest countries. It highlights the major economic benefits made possible by improving vaccine coverage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-20
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Child Mortality
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developing Countries
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical
  • Vaccines
  • Value of Life

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