Costs of Vaccinating a Child

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Costs of vaccinating a child is a summary paper developed in response to a need expressed by advocacy and resource mobilization stakeholders to be able to better communicate the costs involved in vaccinating a child residing in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Using an assumed, standard vaccination schedule for 2020, the paper provides benchmark values that can be helpful for advocacy and fundraising purposes.

The costs of vaccinating a child differ between countries due to variations in vaccine products, vaccine prices negotiated with manufacturers and differences in vaccine delivery costs. UNICEF price data for vaccines and injection supplies are publicly available, but data on delivery costs have until recently been less accessible. A large, systematic literature review has now made delivery cost data available for dozens of LMICs1.

In this summary paper, delivery costs were combined with costs of vaccine commodities to derive an estimate for total costs of delivering a ‘standard’ childhood immunization schedule in LMICs. In 2020, the average costs of fully vaccinating a child under the age of 24 months against eleven different diseases is estimated at US $58 for LMICs that procure vaccines through UNICEF. The range in costs across countries is between US $37 and US $101 per fully vaccinated child less than 24 months, reflecting the difference in delivery costs between settings.

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