New Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Report Shows High Cost for Treating VPDs in Children

Date: Monday, April 6, 2020

Apr 06 2020

In 2018, over 10,000 Colorado children were treated for vaccine-preventable diseases in a hospital or emergency department, resulting in $59 million in health care charges. Also in 2018, Colorado ranked last among U.S. states for kindergarten MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination at 87.4% and second-to-last for DTAP vaccination at 90.3%. That’s according to an independent report released by Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) and Immunize Colorado. The Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Report also finds that nearly 60% of hospitalizations resulting from vaccine-preventable diseases were in children less than five years old.

Key report findings include:

  • Colorado continues to experience a widespread outbreak of hepatitis A that began in October 2018; there have been over 360 cases, 260 hospitalizations and two deaths thus far.

  • The costs of responding to three measles cases that occurred in Colorado in December 2019 is still undetermined, but it is likely many times higher than that of two cases in 2016 and 2017 which were reported to cost $18,000 and $49,000 respectively.

  • In 2018, Colorado ranked last among states for kindergarten MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination at 87.4% and second-to-last for DTaP vaccination at 90.3%. These rates fall significantly below the thresholds needed to prevent against outbreaks.
  • In 2018, vaccine-preventable diseases resulted in over 10,000 hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits for Colorado children, the majority of whom were under five years old. Hospital and ED visits for vaccine-preventable diseases in children resulted in over $59 million in health care charges, with $49 million for influenza alone.

  • In 2018, influenza, pneumococcal disease and pertussis (whooping cough) were the most common reasons for hospitalization due to vaccine-preventable disease; the most common reasons for ED visits were influenza, varicella and pertussis.

Read more in the April 6 press release and access the full report.

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