Sachiko Ozawa, Samantha Clark, Allison Portnoy, Simrun Grewal, Logan Brenzel, and Damian G. Walker
An important research article was published in Health Affairs in February 2016, quantifying the “return on investment” from investments in immunization. The analysis covered 94 low and middle income countries, including all 73 Gavi countries. It uses projected coverage rates for 10 antigens from 2011 to 2020.
The key finding was that the net benefits of immunization were 16 times the projected costs. The analysis was also disaggregated by specific antigen. For all antigens, the net benefit was greater than one, indicating that net benefits exceed projected costs. Projected costs include vaccines, service delivery and supply chain costs. Projected benefits include averted treatment and transportation costs, lost caretaker wages, and productivity losses. This approach is called the “cost of illness” approach.
The analysis also used a second methodology which captures the intrinsic value that people place on living longer and healthier lives from immunization. The return on investment was larger, coming in at $44, with this methodology.