From 2020 to 2021, there were over $13 billion in healthcare charges to treat vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) like measles, flu and whooping cough in Colorado adults and children. In the two-year span, there were more than 420,000 hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits for VPDs. That is according to a report jointly released by Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) and Immunize Colorado.
The Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPD) Report shows that in 2020 and 2021, over 327,000 Colorado adults and nearly 50,000 Colorado children were hospitalized or visited an ED with a VPD. Most adult hospitalizations were due to COVID-19, followed by influenza, varicella and pneumococcal disease; most hospitalizations in children were due to influenza, COVID-19 and pneumococcal disease. (The report acknowledges that COVID-19 vaccines were not widely available in 2020 and therefore COVID-19 was not yet considered vaccine-preventable.)
The VPD Report, prepared by researchers in the Department of Epidemiology at Children’s Colorado, examines CDC National Immunization Survey data and 2020 and 2021 Colorado Hospital Association inpatient and emergency department data to determine the health and economic burdens resulting from VPDs in Colorado.