Vaccinations against 10 diseases save almost 70 million young lives

Vaccinations against ten major diseases – including measles, HPV and hepatitis B – prevented 69 million child deaths, according to a new study.

The researchers estimated that the greatest effects of vaccination were found in children under the age of five – particularly those with measles vaccinations.

Without vaccines, they suggest that the mortality of the 10 diseases in this age group would be 45% higher than it is today without vaccination.

The research focused on low and middle income countries (LMIC) and looked at the likely effects of vaccination from 2000 to 2030.

It is also estimated that vaccinations prevented 37 million deaths from 2000 to 2019.

The ten pathogens examined are:

  • Hepatitis B (HepB)

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)

  • Japanese encephalitis (JE)

  • measles

  • Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A (MenA)

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

  • Rotavirus

  • Rubella virus

  • Yellow fever virus (YF)

The study included 16 independent research groups that modeled the effects of childhood immunization programs in 98 LMICs.

Dr. Caroline Trotter of the University of Cambridge and co-author of the study said: “There has been an urgent investment in child vaccination programs in low and middle income countries (LMIC) and this has led to an increase in the number of children vaccinated.”

Corresponding author, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, said, “Our study shows the tremendous public health benefits that vaccination programs can bring in low- and middle-income countries.”

The modeling also looked at where vaccine investments should be directed.

Prof. Ferguson said the study showed that increasing HPV coverage in girls and coverage with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) in children under the age of five would likely have the greatest impact by 2030.

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