In 2010 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $10 billion commitment over the next ten years to increase access to childhood vaccines in the world's poorest countries. The effort was labeled the "Decade of Vaccines." This study estimates both the short- and long-term economic benefits from the introduction and increased use of six vaccines in seventy-two of the world's poorest countries from 2011 to 2020. Increased rates of vaccination against pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b pneumonia and meningitis, rotavirus, pertussis, measles, and malaria over the next ten years would save 6.4 million lives and avert 426 million cases of illness, $6.2 billion in treatment costs, and $145 billion in productivity losses. Monetary estimates based on this type of analysis can be used to determine the return on investment in immunization from both the international community and local governments, and they should be considered in policy making.
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