Mass vaccination prevents 4 deaths per minute, says WHO


Mass vaccination is responsible for preventing at least 4 deaths per minute worldwide, in addition to generating savings of R $ 250 million per day, according to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) and researchers.

In one year, vaccines prevent between 2 to 3 million deaths and, according to the organization, that number could reach 4.5 million, if its application were expanded. These figures, according to the University of Oxford, UK, are still cautious.

Regarding smallpox, for example, the institution says that “reasonable estimates point to about 5 million lives per year, which means that from 1980 to 2018, between 150 million and 200 million lives were saved”.

Vaccine impacts in Brazil

Through vaccination campaigns, Brazil managed to control or eliminate diseases such as diphtheria, rotavirus, measles, whooping cough, poliomyelitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, rubella and tetanus.

Between 2007 and 2010, for example, immunization against rotavirus prevented the death of 1,411 children up to five years of age from infectious diarrhea, according to calculations by epidemiologist Ernesto Renoiner, from the University of Brasília (UnB).

Another study reveals that 5,500 children died in 1980 from five diseases that could have been controlled with the vaccine. After immunization campaigns, that number plummeted to 277 in 2000. Measles showed even more impressive results: in 1990, 46,000 cases were recorded and, two years later, only 3,000.

Vaccine economics in the world

Vaccines not only save lives: they generate huge savings for countries. In 2017, a group of researchers found that only ten vaccines save R $ 250 million, avoiding spending on medication, hospitalization, transportation and lost productivity.

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The United States observed such effects in practice, when in 1995, chickenpox entered its immunization schedule. In just 5 years, the total costs of the disease went from US $ 85 million to US $ 22 million.


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