IDSA: small drop in MMR vaccination rate would be costly
Nathan C. Lo, from Stanford University in California, and colleagues created a model to test the public health and economic consequences of increasing the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy and removing nonmedical exemptions. They used the case example of MMR vaccination and measles and calibrated the model to annual measles cases in U.S. children (ages 2 to 11 years) in recent years. The model prediction was validated with an independent data set from the United Kingdom.
The researchers found that a modest 5 percent decline in MMR vaccine coverage in the United States would result in a threefold increase in measles cases for children ages 2 to 11 years nationally every year, costing an additional $ 2.1 million in public sector funds. If unvaccinated infants, adolescents, and adult populations were also considered, the numbers would be substantially higher. The trend was robust despite variation in the estimates due to the stochastic elements of measles importation and sensitivity of some model inputs.
"The results support an urgent need to address vaccine hesitancy in policy dialogues at state and national level, with consideration of removing personal belief exemptions of childhood vaccination," conclude the authors.
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