vaccines Neil Thomas/Getty Images

Le vaccinazioni in Africa

BOSTON – In febbraio ad Addis Abeba, i ministri della sanità africana hanno sottoscritto una dichiarazione, ampiamente osannata, del loro impegno a mantenere l’immunizzazione in prima linea per salvare i bambini del continente dalla morte e dalle malattie. Onorare quell’impegno non sarà semplice. L’immunizzazione non è solo una questione di salute, è anche una sfida economica.

Le argomentazioni a favore dei vaccini sono forti. A livello globale, si stima che ogni anno le vaccinazioni prevengono 2-3 milioni di morti infantili e 600.000 morti adulte. Inoltre, l’immunizzazione è considerata una delle azioni sanitarie economicamente più efficace per ridurre la morbilità, la mortalità e la disabilità infantile. Uno studio recente stima che ogni dollaro speso in vaccini fa risparmiare 16 dollari in costi medici. Considerando il valore che i singoli individui ripongono nella longevità e nella salute, i rendimenti netti sugli investimenti in immunizzazioni superano di 44 volte il costo. E i rendimenti netti superano i costi per tutti i vaccini.

Sono stati compiuti progressi significativi. Nel 2014 l’86% dei bambini è stato immunizzato contro difterite, tetano, pertosse, rispetto a meno del 5% nel 1974. E sono stati fatti straordinari passi avanti nel numero e nella tipologia di vaccini disponibili.

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