New report indicates COVID-19 vaccines saved Australia’s economy

19 December 2022: Medicines Australia welcomes the latest peer-reviewed research paper indicating the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccinations significantly reduced the economic impact of the pandemic.

CEO of Medicines Australia, Elizabeth de Somer said the paper – titled The Value of Vaccines: A Tale of Two Parts in Vaccines – demonstrates the benefit of fast access to medical innovations and points to the need for reform to our medicines assessment system so we are prepared for the next health challenges.

“Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic was a historic collective effort between the medicines industry, scientists, governments, and many individuals right across our health sector,” Ms de Somer said.

“This peer-reviewed paper confirms that the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations – and the large, collaborative effort behind it – not only improved health outcomes for individuals, but had a dramatic positive impact across our economy, including the tourism and education sectors, employment and government finances.

“COVID-19 vaccines are 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.

“This study also demonstrates the value of the wider, flow-on effects of vaccines that should be considered when the Government assesses the supply of medicines for our population.

“Australia’s assessment process does not adequately include the broader social and economic impacts of vaccines, medicines and treatments.

“The paper indicates that if the COVID-19 vaccines had followed the current formal Australian Government assessment processes – known as a health technology assessment (HTA) – Australians would have been waiting a long time. More lives would have been lost and our economy would have suffered.

“There is an intrinsic link between healthy people and a healthy economy.

“Preventative health measures, such as vaccinations, are clearly an investment in the prosperity of our nation.

“Our industry is committed to working with Government to ensure Australians have rapid access to the latest medical innovations as soon as they have been approved as safe and effective.

“We cannot afford possibly deadly delays,” Ms de Somer said.


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Biointelect in conjunction with the Centre of Policy Studies, Victoria University developed the peer-reviewed publication The Value of Vaccines: A Tale of Two Parts. The publication estimated the economic impact of population-wide COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Australia for the period January 2020 to June 2023 and compared international health technology assessment (HTA) approaches to assessing the value of vaccines, along with recent efforts to consider broader Health Technology Assessment (HTA) valuation frameworks to capture the true value of medical interventions.

The funding for this research, including for model development, analysis, and medical writing, was provided by Pfizer Australia. The Article Processing Charge (APC) was funded by Pfizer Australia. The Value of Vaccines: A Tale of Two Parts was published online in Vaccines on 30 November 2022 and is available at: