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Global Immunization: Diseases and vaccines - A World View

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.

Cost to Immunize a Child in the Developing World

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.

Top 12 causes of death in children less than 5 years old

Source: Black R, Cousens S, Johnson HL, Lawn JE, Rudan I, Bassani DG, et al. Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality in 2008: a systematic analysis. Lancet. 2010 Jun 5;375(9730):1969-87.

Worldwide disease incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases

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
Anthrax 2,000 Unavailable 1-2 0
Cholera 3-5 million >100,000 13 0
Diphtheria 50,000 5,000 < 5 < 1
Hepatitis A 1.4 million Unavailable 17,000 ≤100
Hepatitis B 2 billion 600,000 38,000 3,000
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) 8 million 199,000 <25 < 5
Human Papillomavirus 500,000 cases of cervical cancer 250,000 6 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) 50,000 10,000 < 1 < 1
Meningococcus 500,000 50,000 2,500 300
Measles 344,000 114,000 200 <2
Mumps 719,000 Unavailable <500 0
Pertussis 30-50 million 300,000 19,000 reported cases 15-20
Pneumococcus 14.5 million 476,000 40,000 4,000
Polio 700 Unavailable 0 0
Rabies 15 million 55,000 2 0
Rotavirus 138 million 453,000 2.7 million 20-60
Rubella 113,000 Unavailable ≤10 Unavailable
Shingles Unavailable Unavailable 1 million Unavailable
Tetanus 500,000-1 million 61,000 <40 3-4
Tuberculosis 9 million 1.5 million 11,000 500
Typhoid 22 million 200,000-
600,000
400 Unavailable
Varicella (Chickenpox) 80-90 million Unavailable 408,500 < 10
Yellow Fever 200,000 30,000 0 0

*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.

If you know of updates, please contact us by e-mailing contactPACK@email.chop.edu. Be sure to include the source of your information.

 

Updated: February 2013

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