COVID-19 vaccination saved the nation $181 billion: study

Tuesday, 20 December, 2022

COVID-19 vaccination saved the nation $181 billion: study

A new peer-reviewed research paper in Vaccines has examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns on the Australian economy. Published by Biointelect and the Centre of Policy Studies, Victoria University, with the support of Pfizer Australia, the research demonstrates the positive economic and societal effects of the population-wide COVID-19 vaccinations rollout.

The research demonstrated that without vaccinations the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns were estimated to have impacted the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Australia by an estimated $395 billion.

The timely rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations is estimated to have reduced the impact of the pandemic on the economy to an estimated $214 billion — resulting in a positive incremental benefit of $181 billion, according to the paper.

The COVID-19 vaccinations rollout was also estimated to have contributed to large positive effects for tourism exports ($28 billion), education exports ($26 billion), employment (142,000 jobs) and government finances ($259 billion).

While the vaccines were rigorously tested for efficacy and safety, the study outlines the unique considerations of the pandemic resulting in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations. This is in contrast to the typical formal health technology assessment of value which generally only considers the direct patient health and healthcare system‐related costs.

Reflecting on the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic, publication co-author Jennifer Herz, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Biointelect, said, “If the COVID-19 vaccines had been assessed under normal circumstances using the typical formal value assessment criteria and processes, a report by Shawview showed that approval could have taken up to 1375 days and we would not have experienced the positive benefits of faster societal and economic recovery.”

Hertz said this demonstrates how important the process put in place for the COVID-19 vaccines was and it’s a credit to the government and the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

“Our experience from the pandemic shows we should be thinking more broadly about the benefits of faster access to all available vaccines to our economy and society and consider the wider value new vaccines can provide,” she added.

Pfizer Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Anne Harris said the publication is further evidence that the health of our nation directly underpins the health of our economy.

“It also demonstrates the importance of preventive health and ongoing vaccination as a weapon in the arsenal against COVID-19 and future viral threats.”

Image credit: KIZILKAYA

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