Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Influenza Immunization Campaigns: Is an Ounce of Prevention Worth a Pound of Cure?

By Courtney J. Ward


This study provides causal evidence on the health and economic consequences of a broad-scope vaccination program. The Ontario Influenza Immunization Campaign (introduced in 2001) expanded the scope of vaccine coverage to the full population. By using the timing of this campaign and exogenous variation in vaccine quality, I am able to causally link higher vaccination rates to decreases in lost work-time, hospitalization, and death. Results indicate that, when vaccine quality is high, the campaign resulted in higher gains for Ontario relative to other provinces and in short, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Results also suggest significant positive health externalities for the elderly.Influenza; Immunization; Health; Work Absence; Respiratory Illness; Hospital Admission

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2008). A Handbook of Health Economic Statistics,
  2. (2007). Access To The Seasonal Flu Vaccine In Canada - How the flu shot makes its way from the laboratory to the doctor’s office,
  3. (2007). Agency of Canada, Canadian Immunization Guide Seventh Edition (Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada
  4. (2006). Anemia and School Participation,"
  5. (1980). Ann-Marie Ahlbom, Hanne Nøkleby, Martti Valle, Olafur Olafsson, Fracisco Salmeron Garcia, Richard Gugelman, Helena Rebelo de Andrade, René Snacken, Franz Ambrosch, and Isabella Donatelli, “Influenza vaccination in 18 developed countries,
  6. (1927). Contributions to the Mathematical theory of epidemics,”
  7. (2001). Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Strategy to Vaccinate Healthy Working Adults Against Influenza,”
  8. (2004). Disease Control and Prevention, “Deaths: Final Data for
  9. (2002). Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data
  10. (2008). Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccination,”
  11. (2006). Evidence of Influenza A Virus RNA
  12. (2005). for Health Information, Hospital Trends in Canada. Results of a project to create a historical series of statistical and financial data for Canadian hospitals over twentyseven years, (Ottawa: Canadian Institute for Health Information,
  13. (2006). Incidence of influenza in Ontario following the Universal Influenza Immunization Campaign,” Vaccine,
  14. (1918). Influenza Pandemic and Subsequent Health Outcomes: An Analysis
  15. (2001). Influenza Vaccination in Alberta Long Term Care Facilities,”
  16. (2004). Influenza Vaccination,” Statistics Canada Health Reports,
  17. (2006). Is the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Over? Long-Term Effects of
  18. (2001). Mass influenza vaccination in Ontario: Is it worthwhile?”
  19. (2000). Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, “Ontario invests $38 million to ease emergency room pressures with universal vaccination program” Government of Ontario Press Releases.
  20. (1995). Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion,
  21. (2004). Optimal tax/subsidy combinations for the flu season,”
  22. (2003). Organization, Influenza: report by the secretariat to the 56th World Health Assembly,
  23. (2002). Snapshot of Ontario’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program.” (Geneva: Presentation at World Health Organization,
  24. (2008). The effect of universal influenza immunization on mortality and health care use,”
  25. (1994). The efficacy of influenza vaccination in elderly individuals. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial,”
  26. (2007). The efficacy of influenza vaccine for healthy children. A meta-analysis evaluating potential sources of variation in efficacy estimates including study quality,” Pediatric Infectious Disease
  27. (2003). The efficacy, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of inactivated influenza virus vaccines,”
  28. (2004). The Ontario Experience with Universal Vaccination” (Toronto: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Presented at the National Influenza Vaccine
  29. (2007). Vaccination Externalities.” The B.E.
  30. (1996). Variables Data source Time period Frequency Vaccination status Statistics Canada:

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.