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Viewpoint |

Immunization Policy and the Importance of Sustainable Vaccine Pricing

H. Cody Meissner, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2016;315(10):981-982. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0469.
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This Viewpoint discusses vaccine costs and policy and explains the importance of balancing these factors to provide optimal care while restricting spending on costly interventions with limited benefit.

The individual, societal, and economic benefits of disease prevention resulting from childhood and adult immunization programs in the United States are without question. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describing the benefits of vaccination of the 2009 birth cohort through 18 years of age estimated that 20 million cases of vaccine-preventable disease will not occur, 42 000 early deaths related to these diseases will be avoided, and $76 billion in direct and indirect costs will be averted.1 This economic benefit stands in stark contrast to the comparatively small cost for vaccine purchases. The estimated vaccine purchasing cost for a similar birth cohort based on 2015 pricing is $7.8 billion, based on CDC costs, and $11.6 billion at private sector pricing (eTable in the Supplement).2

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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