Benefits of vaccination exceeded its cost, Stanford University report said

India was able to save more than 3.4 million lives by undertaking the nationwide vaccination campaign at an unprecedented scale, Stanford University and Institute for Competitiveness said in the working paper “Healing the Economy: Estimating the Economic Impact on India’s vaccination and related issues.”

Highlighting how the vaccination campaign saved lives while at the same time impacting positively on the economic activities across the country, the working paper said: “Vaccination campaign was always on saving lives. However, it also yielded a positive economic impact by preventing the loss of US$18.3 billion. A net benefit of US$15.42 billion occurred for the nation after taking into consideration the cost of the vaccination campaign.”

On the containment measure against the spread of the virus, the working paper said, “As against the top-down approach, a bottom-up approach was critical in containing the virus.” The report further said, “Robust measures at the ground level like contact tracing, mass testing, home quarantine, distribution of essential medical equipment, revamping healthcare infrastructure, and constant coordination among stakeholders at the centre, state, and district levels, not only helped contain the spread of the virus but also in augmenting the health infrastructure.”

The Stanford report said benefits of vaccination exceeded its cost, while suggesting that vaccination be considered a macroeconomic stabilizing indicator contrary to just a health intervention. “The cumulative lifetime earnings of the lives saved through vaccination (in the working age group) totalled up to $ 21.5 billion,” highlighted the working paper.

As per the Stanford University report, “the development of all these vaccines (COVAXIN & Covishield) helped fight the country the pernicious attack of the virus and not only inoculate a large number of people but also decrease the burden on the healthcare system,” the report said.

The working paper also highlighted the government initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY). “The government focussed on ensuring that no one slept hungry and free food grains were distributed to 800 million people which resulted in an economic impact of approximately US$26.24 billion,” the working paper said.

Additionally, “the launch of PM Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan helped in providing immediate employment & livelihood opportunities to migrant workers. Through the scheme 4 million beneficiaries were provided employment which resulted in an overall economic impact of US$ 4.81 billion. This provided livelihood opportunities and created an economic buffer for citizens,” the Stanford report pointed out.