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2009-02-21 | Peer Reviewed

Rethinking Cholera and Typhoid Vaccination Policies for the Poor: Private Demand in Kolkata, India

Dale Whittington, Dipika Sur, Joseph Cook, Susmita Chatterjee, Brian Maskery, Malay Lahiri, Christine Poulos, Srabani Boral, Andrew Nyamete, Jacqueline Deen, Leon Ochiai, Sujit Kumar Bhattacharya, "Rethinking Cholera and Typhoid Vaccination
Download reference Doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2008.04.002

The ‘‘old” familiar diseases of cholera and typhoid remain a serious health threat in many developing countries. Health policy analysts often argue that vaccination against cholera and typhoid should be provided free because poor people cannot afford to pay for such vaccines and because vaccination confers positive economic externalities on unvaccinated individuals. In 2004, we conducted a contingent valuation (CV) survey of 835 randomly selected adults from two neighborhoods in Kolkata, India to provide information on private demand for cholera and typhoid vaccines for themselves and for household members to support more nuanced financial and economics analyses of such vaccination programs.

The median private economic benefits of providing a typhoid vaccine to a household with five members is about US$23 in a middle-income neighborhood (US$27 for a cholera vaccine) and US$14 in a lowincome slum (US$15 for a cholera vaccine). Our research raises an intriguing possibility. If user charges were set at a level to recover the costs of a vaccination program, there could be sufficient demand for the vaccine so that coverage of the vaccinated population might ensure that all the remaining unvaccinated individuals would be protected as well through indirect herd protection.