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    Unvaccinated adults cost U.S. billions in care, lost productivity

    A new study has put a price tag on the cost of vaccination non-compliance among U.S. adults, and it reaches into the billions.

    Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted the study using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database and analyzed the total costs—including both the cost of medical treatment and lost productivity—of unvaccinated adults.

    Sachiko Ozawa, PhD, MHS, associate professor in the division of practice advancement and clinical education at the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, led the study, which examined the actual cost of medication, inpatient and outpatient care and lost productivity related to the failure of adult patients to receive any of 10 vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    The 10 vaccines studied protect against hepatitis A and B, herpes zoster, human papillomavirus, influenza, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease, tetanus, diptheria, pertussis and chickenpox.

    Next: Which preventable illnesses were the most costly?

    Rachael Zimlich, RN
    Ms Zimlich is a freelance writer in Cleveland, Ohio. She writes regularly for Contemporary Pediatrics, Managed Healthcare Executive, and ...

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    • Anonymous
      From the Duke press release: "The study was funded by the pharmaceutical company Merck, a leading producer of vaccines." The full text of the article also mentions that 2 of the authors are employees of Merck. The costs listed are totals for "vaccine preventable" disease and doesn't carve out the proportion of the population who got the illness despite immunization. For example, the literature (I read the same article they cite near the end of the citations) shows that zoster vaccination cuts the incidence of shingles by about half and PHN by just over half. So even if all the adult population had zoster vaccine only half of the $782 million would be saved, so the implication that all that could be recouped by vaccination is erroneous. The CDC data on flu prevalence has been so cooked to scare people into getting vaccinated (just look up their numbers and the total mortality data and it's clear they're grabbing lots of people who didn't have the flu and suggesting that the vaccine would have saved them) that it's virtually worthless, so I'd be quite skeptical of the flu cost data.

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