Every day we hear about the power of vaccines and their tremendous impact on public health. But have you ever wondered what this effect would be if it was put into numbers? Well, wonder no more!
In November 2013, Donald Burke and co-workers published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine that estimated the number of cases of diseases prevented by vaccines. Here are some highlights from their findings:
- Since 1924, about 103 million cases of disease have been prevented in the U.S. by vaccines.
- In the past 10 years alone, about 26 million cases of disease have been prevented in the U.S.
- The disease with the most cases prevented since a vaccine became available is diphtheria; in the U.S. alone, about 40 million cases of diphtheria have been prevented.
- About 35 million cases of measles have been prevented since the vaccine was introduced in the U.S. in 1963.