According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccines given to infants and young children over the past two decades will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.

Vaccines also will have saved $295 billion in direct costs, such as medical expenses, and a total of more than $1.3 trillion in societal costs over that time, because children who were spared from sometimes-devastating illnesses will be able to contribute to society, the report shows. These calculations may underestimate the full impact of vaccines, the study notes, because authors considered only the early 14 routine childhood immunizations typically required for school entry. Authors didn’t include flu shots or adolescent vaccines given at ages 11 or 12.

READ FULL ARTICLE AT USA TODAY >>