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US Vaccination Policy and Cost-Effectiveness Essay (Article)

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Updated: Feb 5th, 2021

Cost-Effectiveness of Vaccines in the US

The US has a vaccination policy that stipulates that vaccines should guarantee the safety of all people in the country. However, in order for the vaccination policy to add value to the members of the public, it should be cost-effective. This means that the type of vaccine that a person is given should reflect his value for money. However, it has been noted that vaccines that are regarded as cost-effective may not be affordable. However, many nations across the world adopt the concept of cost-effectiveness so that they can manage to offer vaccination services more efficiently. For example, nations such as Britain and Australia make decisions based on the cost-effectiveness of a health project. However, it is regarded as a taboo in the US to make decisions based on the cost-effectiveness of a health decision (Kim, 2011).

However, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) serves as an exception. This is because ACPI acts as a transparent body whose goal is to harmonize its recommendations with those of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, thereby enabling it to determine the vaccination programs that should be given priority. It is the responsibility of ACPI to determine which vaccines should be covered by the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. VFC covers vaccination needs for those children who are eligible for Medicaid. It also covers Alaska citizens and American Indians who are not older than 18 years.

The cost-effectiveness of vaccines is said to be influenced by various factors. These include the severity of the disease, efficacy of the vaccine, price of the vaccine, and durability of the vaccine. It has been noted that meningococcal and HPV vaccines are the most expensive vaccines in the market. As a result, they have been known to increase the financial strain on the American health system. The cost of vaccinating a person from childhood to adulthood is said to be approximately $1,450 for males and $1,800 for females. However, meningococcal vaccinations account for approximately 25 percent of the total cost (Kim, 2011).

Cost-effectiveness analysis is therefore responsible for giving information on whether any new vaccine that is introduced in the market is worth investing in. Therefore, cost-effectiveness makes it possible for the US to determine whether to introduce VFC programs or to provide expensive vaccines that can be accessed by the majority of the population.

The US Government is encouraging all people to be vaccinated.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US is recommending that all people should be vaccinated in order to guard them against the seasonal flu. The only people who are not supposed to be vaccinated are those people whose health would be at risk if they take the vaccine.

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that every person should be given a yearly vaccination. The only people who were regarded as an exception are children under the age of six months because their immune system is usually very weak, thereby making the vaccine to be unsafe for them. In addition, there are people who are usually allergic to eggs, whereas others have health conditions which can make the flu vaccine to be unsafe to them. It is said that if the recommendation is accepted by the CDC, it will be made available to all doctors and other health care workers for implementation.

There are certain groups of people who the CDC recommends should be vaccinated against the flu virus. These include children who are older than six years and older people who are aged 49 years and above. People with chronic health problems and health care workers are also supposed to be vaccinated against the vaccine since they risk spreading the virus to other people who are close to them (Gutierrez, 2010).

People who are aged 19-49 years are not usually vaccinated because they rarely come into contact with people who have a high risk of contracting diseases. However, if the recommendation by the CDC is adopted, it will close the gap, thereby ensuring that everyone in the US gets vaccinated with the flu vaccine. It is feared that this state of affairs might create a shortage of vaccines among the high-risk groups. However, it is said many people do not get vaccinated. As a result, many vaccines end up being disposed of, resulting in wastage. The recommendation will, therefore, serve as a good way of ensuring that the health of the public is safe.

The recommendation by the CDC to vaccinate everyone was based on the H1N1 scare, which killed many people who fell outside the recommended vaccination group (Gutierrez, 2010). This raised public awareness and therefore made many people demand vaccines.

References

Gutierrez, D. (2010). Web.

Kim, J. J. (2011). Web.

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