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Why They Matter More Than Ever
The novel coronavirus has disrupted both health and economies around the world, and there are no cures or vaccines available for it, even though there are more than 200 candidates in development. Understandably therefore, much of the focus currently is on a vaccine for the coronavirus. At the same time, there are other serious infections that can be prevented that are all too often ignored or dismissed — and vaccination rates for which, are falling.
Vaccines have been shown to reduce the incidence and prevalence of a range of diseases, as well as decrease morbidity and mortality rates. Yet, the U.S. spends nearly $27 billion on treating vaccine-preventable deaths among adults.
Maintaining vaccination rates during the pandemic is critical to preventing illnesses that could lead to more people needing medical care, and a potential increase in the number of hospitalizations that could further strain the health care system.
This applies not just to seasonal vaccinations but required and recommended routine childhood immunizations as well – rates for which have been falling. According to recently published data, childhood immunizations were down about 60 percent, in aggregate, in April of this year compared to a year ago.
In this white paper, Sree Chaguturu, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark, and Arpana Mathur, MD, Medical Director, CVS Health, discuss the importance of vaccination, the cost of vaccine-preventable diseases when immunization rates decline, and the implications of that during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Image source: Licensed from Getty Images, 2020.