Policy ForumMedicine

The Intangible Value of Vaccination

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Science  09 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5583, pp. 937-939
DOI: 10.1126/science.1075173

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Vaccines are highly ranked for the value they provide to human society. However, their future may be in jeopardy because the economic value associated with them is negligible and they are not a priority for industry. Radical changes are needed to increase the priority of vaccines both in developed and developing countries. The main message of this Policy Forum is for policy-makers to include the intangible benefits of health, as well as cumulative costs of disease treatment, when calculating the value of vaccines. This would make vaccines economically attractive and their development self-sustainable.