Published on October 27, 2011 at 1:39 AM
Immunizations can be a cost-effective means of disease prevention, but "[t]o reach the fully realized stage of cost-effectiveness, ... it is vital to acknowledge -- and more importantly, address -- the barriers that often prevent them from either being as cheap or as widely used as needed," Forbes contributor Sarika Bansal writes in a Forbes opinion piece. She cites costs associated with vaccines, such as shipping and refrigeration; time and monetary commitments from potential vaccine recipients; a lack of medical professionals in rural areas; and the implementation of public awareness campaigns as barriers to successful immunization campaigns.
"Luckily, many [obstacles] can be overcome with sustained action and a bit of creativity -- and in the case of vaccines, several groups are looking to do just this," Bansal writes, noting efforts by the GAVI Alliance, MIT's Poverty Action Lab and African governments. "While pharmaceutical companies are busy developing and perfecting vaccines ..., other groups should simultaneously improve health systems to allow vaccines to have the strongest possible impact," she concludes (10/25).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.