Each year, about 85 percent of the world’s children receive vaccines that protect them against tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and measles. These vaccines save about 2.5 million lives, and the hepatitis B vaccine, although not as widely used, saves about 600,000 lives.
Despite this success, more than 3 million people die from vaccine-preventable diseases each year. Approximately 1.5 million of these deaths are in children less than 5 years old. Of the top 10 causes of death in those less than 5 years old, several are infectious, meaning they can be transmitted from one person to another.
It costs about $50 to fully immunize a child in the developing world against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, polio, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type b. Learn more about the “Immunize Every Child” campaign and the GAVI Alliance.
Source: Liu L, Johnson HL, Cousens S, Perin J, Scott S, Lawn JE, et al. Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality: an updated systematic analysis for 2010 with time trends since 2000. Lancet. 2012 Jun 9;379(9832):2151-61
Even though some diseases may not be making people sick in your neighborhood, they may be common in other parts of the world. Given that people commonly travel for business, to visit family and friends, with relief groups, and for vacation, the viruses or bacteria that cause diseases can easily “hitch a ride.” Here is a look at the worldwide prevalence of many vaccine-preventable diseases:
|Disease||Worldwide Cases/Year||Worldwide Deaths/Year||U.S. Cases/Year||U.S. Deaths/Year|
|Cholera||3-5 million||> 100,000||< 6||0|
|Diphtheria||50,000||25,000||< 5||< 1|
|Hepatitis A||1.4 million||Unavailable||17,000||≤100|
|Hepatitis B||2 billion||1 million||100,000||5,000|
|Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)||7-8 million||199,000||< 25||< 5|
|Human Papillomavirus||530,000 cases of cervical cancer||> 270,000||14 million infections,
25,000 cases of cancer caused by HPV
|4,000 deaths from cervical cancer|
|Influenza||3-5 million severe cases||250,000 - 500,000||30 million - 60 million||Up to 40,000|
|Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV)||20,000||6,000||< 1||< 1|
|Pertussis||30-50 million||300,000||48,277 reported cases||20|
|Pneumococcus||14.5 million||476,000||1,000,000||< 70,000|
|Rotavirus||138 million||450,000||500,000||< 20|
|Tetanus||500,000-1 million||72,600||< 40||3-4|
|Tuberculosis||9 million||1.5 million||9,582||536|
|Varicella (Chickenpox)||80-90 million||Unavailable||< 350,000||< 20|
*Data represented in this table was compiled from multiple sources and in most cases rounded to the nearest thousand. The information presented represents the most recent data available.
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Updated: February 2013
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