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By Orin Levine

As the world scrambles to speed up the development of a Zika vaccine, new data released in Health Affairs shows that in addition to saving lives, vaccines are also an excellent investment in the economic health of communities.

Every dollar invested on vaccines returns more than $16 in economic benefits.

A new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s International Vaccine Access Center examined the projected return on investment of vaccinations during the ten-year period dubbed the “Decade of Vaccines” (2011-2020). Researchers assessed the economic benefits of vaccines in 94 low- and middle-income countries using projected vaccination rates. When taking into account the conservative costs associated with illness, such as treatment costs and productivity losses, the return was $16 for every dollar spent on vaccines. In a separate analysis considering the broader economic impact of illness, vaccinations return $44 for every dollar spent.

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