Polio vaccine saves billions of dollars

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 12, 2007

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Widespread use of the polio vaccine since 1955 has cost the United States $35 billion but saved the country $180 billion. Approximately 900,000 cases of paralytic polio were prevented, according to a study in the December 2006 Risk Analysis.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston also estimated the future expenses and benefits, finding that another $1.4 billion could be spent on vaccinating against this disease in the next decade, preventing another 200,000 cases.

Experts said this paper reinforced the value of vaccination.

"This study documents the extraordinary power of vaccines not only as highly effective tools to prevent disease, disability and death but to provide enormous economic savings to society," said Stephen L. Cochi, MD, MPH, senior adviser to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Global Immunization Division.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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