Region Focus

Second Quarter 2010

Advancing Immunity: What is the role for policy in the private decision to vaccinate children?

Vaccines are regarded as one of the greatest public health triumphs. But despite direct benefits, some parents choose not to vaccinate their children and can effectively free-ride off the immunization of others. Policymakers must weigh potential limitations on private freedoms with public health when considering how to achieve the socially optimal level of vaccination.

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Related Links

Bauch, Chris T., Alison P. Galvani, and David J. D. Earn. "Group Interest Versus Self-Interest in Smallpox Vaccination Policy." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Sept. 2, 2003, vol. 100, no. 18, pp. 10,564-10,567.

Boulier, Bryan L., Tejwant S. Datta, and Robert S. Goldfarb. "Vaccination Externalities." B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, May 2007, vol.7, issue 1, article 23.

Freed, Gary L., et al. "Parental Vaccine Safety Concerns in 2009." Pediatrics, April 2010, vol. 125, no. 4, pp. 654-659.

Omer, Saad B., et al. "Vaccine Refusal, Mandatory Immunization, and the Risks of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases." New England Journal of Medicine, May 7, 2009, vol. 360, no. 19, pp. 1,981-1,988.

Salmon, Daniel A., et al. "Factors Associated with Refusal of Childhood Vaccines Among Parents of School-Aged Children: A Case-Control Study." Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, May 2005, vol. 159, no. 5, pp. 470-476.

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