What if We Underestimate the Economic Cost of Vaccinating?

What if We Underestimate the Economic Cost of Vaccinating?

In a study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and published in the journal Health Affairs on Oct. 12, 2016, it was estimated that the cost to the U.S. economy of people deciding not to get government recommended vaccines to prevent 10 infectious diseases was $7.1 billion in 2015.1

The research team, led by Sachiko Ozawa, PhD, associate professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, studied 10 vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including the vaccines for hepatitis A and B; herpes zoster virus (chickenpox); human papillomavirus (HPV); influenza; measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); meningococcal disease; pneumococcal disease; tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap); and chickenpox.1 2

In their Annual Gates Letter highlighting the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released on Feb. 14, 2017, Bill and Melinda Gates appear to have taken the $7.1 billion figure from the Ozawa study and calculated that, “for every dollar spent on childhood immunizations, you get $44 in economic benefits.” According to Mr. and Mrs. Gates, the calculation “includes saving the money that families lose when a child is sick and a parent can’t work.”3 4

If the Gates Foundation has picked up on the findings of the Ozawa study, then it is likely that those findings will be regularly cited for years to come. The idea that opting out from vaccination is a drain on the U.S. economy to the tune of $7.1 billion annually is soon (if not already) going to be become fact rather than a rough estimate based on a study that, by the way, was funded by Merck & Co.1 2—the second largest manufacturer of vaccines on Earth.

The media is definitely playing a leading role in beating this narrative into the public psyche, with headlines such as “Adults Not Getting Vaccinated Cost The U.S. $7.1B In 2015” and “Unvaccinated adults cost America more than $7 BILLION a year, study reveals” and “People Who Don’t Get Vaccinations Cost U.S. Economy $7 Billion a Year”.5 6 7

So, that’s one big economic argument in favor of “no exceptions” mandatory vaccination laws: people choosing not to vaccinate cost the U.S. a lot of money every year—at least $7 billion. But wait a minute. That argument assumes that there is little or no economic cost to vaccinating. In other words, the assumption is that vaccines are completely safe and always effective in preventing disease and that any harm they might cause is so rare, so insignificant, that it’s hardly worth mentioning or worrying about it.

However, what if that mantra is not true? What if vaccines cause a lot more harm, injury, and death than is popularly (although decreasingly so) believed and the costs of vaccinating are greatly underestimated? What if vaccines are, in fact, a primary or contributing factor in causing a host of prevalent chronic brain and immune system disorders and diseases, as well as unexplained deaths?

As I wrote in my article “The Economic Impact of Not Vaccinating? Who the Heck Knows.”8:

Imagine, for the sake of argument, if it was discovered that vaccines were a factor in the onset of autism, asthma, allergies, ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, SIDS and other diseases, disorders, illnesses, and causes of death. What would the estimate of the economic impact on the U.S. economy be then?

Imagine, indeed. Suddenly, that $7.1 billion figure looks ridiculously small. Take this headline, for example: “Autism’s costs to U.S. economy estimated to top $265 billion for 2015”.9 That article, which highlights a study done by the organization Autism Speaks, reveals that costs to care for individuals with autism could rise to more than $1 trillion by 2025 “if prevalence continues to rise at rates seen over last decade.”9

One TRILLION dollars? And that’s only autism.

So, what about… ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)? That disorder has been estimated to cost the U.S. economy between $143 billion and $266 billion a year.9 According to the organization Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD):

Most of the costs were incurred by adults due to productivity and income losses. For children, healthcare and education were the main costs. Costs borne by family members of individuals with ADHD were also included in the total cost estimates.9

How about Alzheimer’s? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the cost to the U.S. in 2017 of that disease will be $259 billion, and by 2050 the costs could reach $1.1 trillion.”10 (There’s that TRILLION dollar figure again.)

You get the point. Seven billion dollars? Peanuts.

While public health officials deny there is a causal relationship between vaccines and the chronic conditions I’ve mentioned, there is no definitive proof that a causal relationship does not exist.

With regard to autism, there are epidemiological studies that dismiss a link between autism and vaccines. However, there are also numerous scientific studies, especially biological mechanism studies, that demonstrate an association between autism and vaccines—at least 130 of them.11 There are also published studies linking vaccines to ADHD,12 and there are studies linking aluminum (an adjuvant in vaccines) to Alzheimer’s.13 14

Last year, I wrote an article titled “A Sick and Unproductive America: The New Norm“. Here’s an excerpt from that piece which highlights perhaps one of the greatest ironies of all time:

The U.S. spends more per capita—$8,713 per person annually—on healthcare than any other country in the world, yet we are increasingly a nation of children and adults who are getting sicker with each year that passes. The public health prognosis for our population is poor and consequently so is the outlook for our economy.15

What is going on?

For all we know, while government officials continue to add more vaccines to the recommended list and the majority of us continue to get vaccinated, thinking we’re doing ourselves and everybody else a world of good, we may be doing the exact opposite. In the process, we could be destroying our health and our economy, on our way to bankrupting our country.


1 Ozawa S, Portnoy A, Getaneh H, Clark S, Knoll M, Bishai D, Yang HK, Patwardhan PD. Modeling The Economic Burden Of Adult Vaccine-Preventable Diseases In The United States. Health Affairs Oct. 12, 2016.

12 Fourteen Studies. FourteenStudies.org.
13 Exley C. Strong Evidence Linking Aluminum and Alzheimer’s. The Vaccine Reaction Dec. 30, 2016.
14 Mercola J. New Warning About Everyday Poison Linked to Alzheimer’s, ADHD, and Autism. Mercola.com Mar. 20, 2010.

Note: This commentary provides referenced information and perspective on a topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics being discussed in public forums and by U.S. lawmakers.  The websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provide information and perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation and policymaking.


21 Responses to "What if We Underestimate the Economic Cost of Vaccinating?"

  1. Anna   March 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Marco, an exceptionally well done article… Why doesn’t the media focus on the money cost due to diseases which are not preventable via a vaccine but very much (ok perhaps) due to them..

    oh yes because big pharma owns the airways and congress.. gee what else.. US???

  2. Num Guy   March 16, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Big Pharma’s plan is to keep us sick from the cradle to the grave by injecting us with chemicals as soon as we are born. They can do this because they have been protected by our corrupt congress since 1986.

    As long as this 1986 law is on the books, vaccine makers will not change their ways.

    If you want to change things, please sign this petition.


    Please visit this page and learn more about the 1986 law. Please share this with everyone you know. Together, WE SHALL OVERCOME!!

  3. Peggy Stineman   March 16, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    I agree 100%. So many children and adults are already injured. This will cost billions to care for these injured people. The law needs changed making big pharma responsible for these injuries. Maybe then they will think twice before adding harmful toxins to the vaccine.

  4. Mark Proudfoot   March 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    This is a great article! When the vaccine industry puts it in dollars, you respond back in the same language.
    Your numbers are more believable too.
    That $7B loss assumes every day you care for your child will be unpaid and cannot be recovered by OT or rescheduling.
    The costs due to these exploding instances of autism and brain diseases are real

  5. John Vermeulen   March 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Wow pray tell that Merck funded the benefits of Vaccination Costs, no surprise they failed to take into account the extensive suffering and cost of treatment for those Injured by Vaccine. No question those who have experienced an adverse reaction and injury from Vaccine are an under reported statistic. What doctor would want to blame himself for recommending a vaccine which injured his patient after claiming such vaccine was “safe” to a patient?

    So when your childs doctor or your doctor recommend a Vaccine to you, just stop, stand up touch the doctor on the shoulder, look into his eyes and say…”Doctor if this Vaccine is so safe, WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO Personally Guarantee its Safety?” Don’t be surprised if the Doctor has Second thoughts, when such a question is posed in such a manner. These things are not as safe as these Medical Professionals claim and they know that.

    • TeeJae   March 17, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Good idea, in theory. However, all they have to do is hand you the Vaccine Information Sheet and say, “This is all I’m required to do.”

  6. Lina   March 16, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Exactly! I must say, some of my friends who receive annual flu shot spend at least 1 week being sick at home with terrible flu and so their children. And somehow my children, who never got a flu shot, or myself, never get that awful flu.

  7. owldog   March 16, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    When money and business collude with government to make wealth a deity, this is what happens. It is not wealth, per se, that is to blame, but what is to blame is the “violent and pestilent congregation of vapors” (from Hamlet) that people create in order to make that wealth, and how the system rationalizing everything to continue turning the “wheels of fortune” for the industry, and the CEOs that make royal sums of money and power.
    The same is happening with bombers, guns, bombs, etc. Somebody, perhaps many “bodies” is making big bucks with these things for the war products industry, and it is the politician’s job, unfortunately to make sure that there are enough wars to keep these industries humming along and making money.

  8. Vaccine Information   March 16, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I think that the original study did not factor in the cost of the vaccines and administration?

  9. michael   March 16, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    By really protecting an individual’s immune system from birth to aged the prevention of disease is accomplished. The alphabet soup of diseases are formulated by immune incompetencies from too many vaccinations. Wake up America, Big Pharma wants you sick not healthy. Build up your own immune system with proper nutrition, diet, excercise and minerals without vaccinations and these disease disappear. Many older people have figured this out already and are healthier.

  10. YaYa Ya   March 16, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Wow. Why do so many people trust a highly-randomized number crunch by one school, which is then elaborated on with a complimenting number crunch by the patron saints of total world vaccination (the Gates)? Maybe because the Media– is a spin factory without integrity when it comes to their own business funding– and can be counted on to back-up this kind of bad math, with a trumpet. Pharma made @$68 BIL in 2015, on the sale of vaccines. They love their money-making obsession and this shows a strategy to appeal to the both the poor, and the money-obsessed, in their herd of customers.
    Thank you for attempting to reveal a few of the costs of vaccinating people, especially those with immature immunity and other weakness. The costs currently are beyond billions. So much of the reportable results have been removed, destroyed, or ignorantly dismissed. The cost of the loss for individuals, families, communities, cultures just cannot be calculated. What price can redeem a lifelong curse of accelerated mental and physical degeneration caused by injecting chemicals, heavy metals, and adulterated, foreign organism dna into the blood of a living person. Against their will or not.

    • Sandra Lee Smith   March 16, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      Same reason they’re pushing “global warming” now aka “climate change” via the flawed “hockey stick” faux science. MONEY! Always follow the money! Who stands to profit from such reports? Who gains from people being sick in the first place, so might have a motive to increase the incidence of long-term illnesses?

    • Bob   March 17, 2017 at 5:06 am

      I think the media just prints what is handed to them. The true “spin factory” is the pharmaceutical company that needs to create the fear and demand for global vaccination. It’s why they fund the studies.

  11. Dorothy McFarlin   March 16, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Did the study consider how much time parents spend taking care of their child when the vaccine makes the child ill? Children get fevers, diarrhea, rashes, and a number of other symptoms that would cause them not to be admitted to school or daycare for one or two days. Plus, parents have to take off from work, at least a few hours, for the doctor’s visit. The study will naturally make those who choose not to vaccinate look like the bad guys and the crazies. There is no way UNC-CH could perform an objective study. They are very much part of liberal medicine. It is like having the chicken hawk inventory the chickens. I have talked to people whose doctors have made them think they will be stricken with the flu so bad if they don’t get the shot, and they get the shot, BUT they add that they didn’t get the flu even when they didn’t get the shot, and many got sick after getting the shot. But, they believe the doctors!!!!!!

    • Dani   March 17, 2017 at 5:38 am

      My sister-in-law not only had to quit her job to take care of her autistic son but had to tap into retirement savings to do so … I’m sure no one out there is calculating these costs, not to mention the emotional toll it takes.

  12. Amber Boyt   March 17, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Add in the cost of funerals for the unexplained deaths! Add them all together. Put them side by side.

  13. Bruce   March 17, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Ironically, I had both measles, mumps and chickenpox growing up and golly, I am just fine. The mfrs of vaccines just see what a cash cow it is, and our govt follows after them like the mfrs are pied pipers. In spite of the above “horrible” diseases I encountered and which the mfrs feel they need to ‘eradicate’, as indicated the health of the US population is worse, mostly due to wrong headed medical practices- over use of antibiotics and drugs in general. Hard to believe anyone would take this stuff with all the indicated side effects. In conclusion, the mfrs are certainly not altruistic in their pursuit of more ‘vaccines’ (which are neither safe nor effective), and American medicine in general has failed us.

  14. Dan Morris   March 17, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Good article. It is also good to notice that the “Gates” study does not have controls in place to rule out other causative factors. For example, there really are very few “childhood disease” outbreaks. So most of the lost revenues that are being alluded to involve things like “the common cold”, upset tummies, lack of sleep, etc. There are no preventative vaccines for these more likely causes of “loss of productivity.” Not to mention injuries for things like middle school and high school football. Nor does it take into account the preventative measures established by people like Florence Nightingale that are NOT being implemented like hand washing, voluntary isolation, quarantine, sanitation practices and so on. Or how much productivity is lost do to poor eating habits, lack of sleep, improper stress management, lack of good, healthy exercise to name a few. Do we have a vaccine to combat these maladies? Bill and Melinda are in it for reasons they are not disclosing, but you can bet it’s not good for most of us. Some figures put the USA at more than 80% obese. That includes children, too. And that number may be conservative. The US Surgeon General has already established this fact as one of the major causes of illness. Do we have a “fat” vaccine? Better question, why would we want one? Most fun things in life require doing. You know, something physical. Bill, do you think that you are the only one who deserves the right to DO fun things? We don’t want your propaganda! Go away!

  15. Anonymous   March 18, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Vaccines should be totally extinct for all but extreme cases. Most viruses can now be fought with the almost free drug, BHT. Look it up. BHT has been banned by the FDA for testing it as a medicine, but it is fine to use as a food additive as a preservative. Strange coincidence? It even cures Herpes, common cold viruses, gone. The FDA needs to get out of the way. The Federal Gov’t, in general, needs to get out of the way of medical innovation. Regulations have stifled creativity and study to where it is all rhetoric and tenure-based decision making. Pathetic. Go with the group, intellectual herd mentality is killing us. Marijuana is under the same scope, when it is also a wonderful drug to help with mania, depression, pain relief, creative thought, sleeplessness, nervousness, Cancer, Parkinson’s, MS, Glaucoma, and the list goes on. We are all coddled and brainwashed to the point of illness and then turn to the very “gods” that are making us ill.

  16. David Weiner   March 21, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Let’s not forget to add all of the health costs from the governments’ toxic fluoride program either.

  17. Adrian   April 27, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    I don’t know, but I think there’s really nothing wrong with getting vaccinated. In fact, it can even prevent you from getting certain kinds of diseases.


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