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Childhood Vaccine Costs Anger Pediatricians

The rising cost of vaccines is angering many medical workers. In this (quite long) feature article printed in the New York Times, Andrew Pollack examined this trend, full with statistics from clinics, insurance companies, and more. There was a heavy focus on newer vaccines such as Gardasil and the renewing of flu vaccines. He also reported on what is required for most children to get, and the average costs of these, comparing different states.

"Getting a vaccination was not always so difficult. In 1980, it cost only about $23, or $59 adjusted for inflation, for the seven shots and four oral doses needed to immunize a child, according to data provided by Dr. Thomas Saari, who is emeritus professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin.

Today, though, a child who receives all the recommended vaccines would receive as many as 37 shots and 3 oral doses by the 18th birthday — at a cost exceeding $1,600."

"“We cannot pay for the vaccination of the American public any longer,? said Dr. Dorothy A. Levine, a pediatrician in Stamford and New Canaan, Conn. “We’re not giving them with as much vigor as we should, and the main reason is financial.?"

"About 85 percent of the nation’s children get all or at least some of their inoculations from private physicians’ offices, which operate as businesses. The federal and state governments pay for vaccines for about 55 percent of children, mainly poor ones. But even those government-subsidized vaccines are mainly administered by private doctors."

Numbers were extremely prevalent in this story, from percentages of populations, to costs and comparisons to years. Although this could potentially get very confusing, the NY Times did a very good job of keeping the numbers spaced out enough for the reading public to better understand the significance of this trend. Good job!