This “first-of-its kind” report by the Office of Health Economics, an independent health economics research organisation, investigates the health and socio-economic benefits of adult vaccination programmes.

The report focuses on vaccines for influenza, pneumococcal disease, herpes zoster, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) across 10 countries representing a range of healthcare systems, demographics, and vaccine schedules (Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, and the United States).

Read the report

This new report looks at four adult vaccines across ten countries where they are available to determine the wider economic and social impact.


Adult vaccination can, on average, return up to 19 times the amount spent through health and wider socio-economic benefits

OHE report, April 2024


This 19x return is equivalent to billions of dollars in net monetary benefits to society, up to USD 4,637 per every individual full vaccination course

OHE report, April 2024

$1 trillion

Preventable diseases cost G20 economies USD 1 trillion in annual productivity loss among those aged 50 to 64 years

ILC UK report, April 2022

What is the impact of adult immunisation programmes?

The report indicates that adult immunisation programmes offset their costs multiple times through benefits to population health, the healthcare systems, and wider society. Adult vaccination programmes can return up to 19 times their initial investment.

The report also uncovers gaps in evidence regarding the broader value of immunisation programmes. This means the positive returns are likely to be underestimated.

The data demonstrates that adult immunisation can deliver socio-economic returns proportional to childhood immunisation programmes. Despite this, access to adult vaccination is globally inconsistent, with limited inclusion in routine immunisation schedules.

The findings highlight the opportunity to ease pressures on health services by adopting a prevention-first mindset that includes adult immunisation programmes.

For population health

Vaccine-preventable diseases continue to impose substantial burden on adult populations, causing mortality and severe health consequences.

For healthcare systems

Adult immunisation programmes are highly cost-effective and can result in net cost savings for healthcare systems.

For the wider society

Expanding adult immunisation programmes and coverage can lead to substantial productivity gains and economic benefits for society.

Two doctors in an operating theatre, with a glowing graphic of a medicine ampule behind them

“Our findings show that costs are offset multiple times over by societal benefits when governments invest in adult immunisation programmes, providing a clear call to action to countries not already implementing or expanding robust vaccination schedules.”

Lotte Steuten

Deputy CEO of the Office of Health Economics (OHE)

Global demographic transitions and health challenges

The world is currently undergoing significant demographic shifts with ageing populations. By 2050, the number of adults over 60 is expected to double.

While chronic diseases are taking a greater toll than ever, preventable infectious diseases — including flu, pneumococcal diseases, herpes zoster, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) — still have an enormous burden on societies and place immense pressure on healthcare systems that are also grappling with the growing challenges of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and other pandemic threats.

With unprecedented and growing demand for healthcare, prevention must be at the heart of our response.

Ageing populations

The world is undergoing significant demographics shifts, with ageing populations. Vaccines promote healthy ageing, helping manage comorbidities of non-communicable diseases.

Infectious diseases

The world is facing a “tripledemic” of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV. A shift in focus from treatment to prevention is critical.

Antimicrobial resistance

The world is losing one of its most powerful tools in healthcare: antibiotics. Vaccines can reduce the use of antibiotics and the development of resistance.

Expand and develop the evidence base for the value of adult immunisation programmes

There are significant gaps in evidence regarding the broader elements of the value of immunisation programmes. Further research is needed to close these knowledge gaps, which is vital for informed decision-making.

More robust data collection systems, widely accepted methods, and transparent/open data access would allow more accurate quantification of these values. It is especially important to close these information gaps in middle- and lower-income countries.

Call to action

We call on policy- and decision-makers to adopt a prevention-first mindset, implement and optimise robust adult immunisation programmes that are proven cost-effective, and expand the evidence base for the broader value of adult immunisation.