Mass vaccination is responsible for preventing at least 4 deaths per minute worldwide, in addition to generating savings of R$ 250 million per day, according to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) and researchers.
In a year, vaccines prevent between 2 to 3 million deaths and, according to the organization, this number could reach 4.5 million, if its application were expanded. These numbers, according to the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom, are still cautious.
About smallpox, for example, the institution states that “reasonable estimates point to about 5 million lives per year, which means that, from 1980 to 2018, between 150 million and 200 million lives were saved”.
Impacts of vaccines in Brazil
Through vaccination campaigns, Brazil managed to control or eliminate diseases such as diphtheria, rotavirus, measles, whooping cough, polio, pneumonia, diarrhea, rubella and tetanus.
Between 2007 and 2010, for example, immunization against rotavirus prevented the death of 1,411 children up to five years old due to infectious diarrhea, according to calculations by epidemiologist Ernesto Renoiner, from the University of Brasília (UnB).
Another study reveals that 5,500 children died in 1980 from five diseases that could have been controlled with the vaccine. After immunization campaigns, that number dropped to 277 in 2000. Measles had even more impressive results: in 1990, 46,000 cases were registered and, two years later, only 3,000.
Economy of vaccines in the world
Vaccines not only save lives: they generate huge savings for countries. In 2017, a group of researchers found that only ten vaccines save R$ 250 million, avoiding expenses with medicines, hospitalization, transport and loss of productivity.
The United States saw such effects in practice when in 1995 chickenpox entered its immunization schedule. In just 5 years, the total costs of the disease went from US$85 million to US$22 million.