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If avoiding a miserable, potentially deadly virus isn’t motivation enough to get a flu shot, here’s one more reason: American adults sick with flu cost about $5.8 billion last year in medical visits, medication and lost productivity, according to a new study published in Health Affairs.

And it isn’t just the flu; the study found that adults sick with a slew of diseases that can be prevented by vaccines collectively cost about $9 billion in 2015. Vaccines can’t prevent all illness, but most of that financial burden — $7.1 billion — was caused by people who skipped vaccines, for diseases including influenza and HPV.

Vaccines are one of the most powerful advances in medicine but became mired in controversy nearly two decades ago because of a fraudulent study that suggested a possible link to autism. That paper has been retracted, and the idea has been thoroughly debunked, but the idea hasn’t budged in the minds of some people and has even been repeated by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. This debate has focused on children, but many adults aren’t keeping up to date on recommended vaccinations — and that, the new study argues, is taking a toll on the economy.

… Read More

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