Why vaccines are a good investment

An economist says lower health care costs are just the tip of the iceberg
By Melinda Wenner

David Bloom

David Bloom first became interested in international health in the late 1980s. At that time he was an established labor economist, and the economic aspects of the AIDS epidemic intrigued him. Bloom recalls that his colleagues strongly discouraged him, telling him that "AIDS was a fad" and that "good scientists didn't work on trendy topics." He ignored them.

"Those kinds of comments had the unintended consequence of hastening my professional transition from US labor issues to global health," says Bloom, chair of the population and international health department at Harvard's School of Public Health. "And for the past 10 to 15 years, that's where I've concentrated my attention."

Bloom is perhaps best known for his 2005 study published in World...

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