Facts, not Fantasy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vaccine Times: Measles outbreaks dont' come cheap

Sometimes the canard that "Big Pharma" is making money hand over fist from vaccines.  That assertion is incredibly silly for so many reasons, least of all is that it costs a great deal less to prevent a disease than it does to treat it.  Vaccines prevent disease, and pharmaceutical companies and hospitals would make so much more by just allowing people to catch these diseases, and then treating the myriad of (potentially fatal) symptoms.  So if anything, distributing vaccines acts against their financial interest to make money, although it does act in the ethical and humane manner of preventing suffering.  Something that the anti-vax nutters never seem to get into their heads.  So putting actual numbers to some of the cost, here is a quick article:

On top of all the other problems that measles outbreaks cause, monetary costs can also be quite significant. As the recent outbreak in Utah shows, relatively small outbreaks (in terms of overall numbers) can cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to deal with. The Utah measles outbreak cost $130,000 and 3,000 work hours to contain. At the end 9 people were infected, 184 were put in voluntary quarantine for up to 21 days.

As bad as that is, it pales in comparison to the 2008 Arizona outbreak. That outbreak started when an infected Swiss traveler visited one hospital. By the end 14 people were infected, involving two different hospitals with total costs of almost $800,000. For a detailed description of how that specific outbreak unfolded read this article at Wired.com.

And all this isn't from some third world country (only one with a third world like health-care system).


  1. Hi Larian,
    I think you have the less/more reversed in the 2nd sentence.

  2. You are right! :o Thanks for pointing out my mistake.


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