A Powerful Return on Investment: US Vaccination Campaign Saves Lives and Billions

Vaccinations are a cornerstone of modern public health. They offer a safe and effective way to prevent infectious diseases, protecting individuals and communities alike. A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine sheds light on the remarkable impact of the US government’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, highlighting not only the lives saved but also the substantial economic benefits associated with widespread vaccination.

The “We Can Do This” Campaign: A Public Health Success Story

Launched in April 2021, the “We Can Do This” campaign aimed to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates across the United States. Through a multi-pronged approach that included public service announcements, digital outreach, and community partnerships, the campaign aimed to address vaccine hesitancy, provide accurate information, and encourage people to get vaccinated. The recent study by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) evaluates the effectiveness of this campaign.

Measurable Impact: Lives Saved and Billions Saved

The HHS study paints a compelling picture. Researchers estimated that the “We Can Do This” campaign resulted in the vaccination of an additional 22.3 million Americans between April 2021 and March 2022. This surge in vaccination rates is credited with preventing nearly 2.6 million infections from the virus that causes COVID-19, and nearly 244,000 hospitalizations. These numbers translate to a significant reduction in the human cost of the pandemic.

However, the impact extends beyond saving lives. The study estimates that the averted illness and related costs associated with the campaign resulted in an economic benefit of a staggering $731.9 billion. This translates to a return on investment (ROI) of nearly $89.54 for every $1 spent on the campaign. These figures underscore the economic value of vaccination programs, not just in terms of healthcare cost savings but also in terms of maintaining a healthy and productive workforce.

Beyond Numbers: The Power of Public Education

The success of the “We Can Do This” campaign highlights the importance of effective public education in promoting public health initiatives. The campaign addressed vaccine hesitancy by providing clear and accurate information about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. It also addressed concerns about vaccine side effects and encouraged open communication between healthcare providers and patients.

This multi-faceted approach fostered trust and empowered individuals to make informed decisions about their health. The campaign’s success demonstrates that public education campaigns can play a crucial role in overcoming misinformation and promoting vaccination as a vital tool for protecting individual and community health.

Looking Forward: Building on Success for Future Public Health Efforts

The findings of the HHS study hold valuable lessons for future public health initiatives. Here are some key takeaways:

  • The Power of Targeted Communication: Tailoring messages to specific audiences and addressing their concerns is crucial for effectively promoting public health initiatives.
  • Building Trust Through Transparency: Providing clear and accurate information, addressing misinformation, and fostering open communication with healthcare providers are essential for building trust and promoting vaccine acceptance.
  • The Importance of Collaboration: Collaboration between government agencies, healthcare providers, community organizations, and the media is vital for successful public education campaigns.
  • Measuring Impact and ROI: Evaluating the effectiveness of public health initiatives, including their economic impact, is crucial for securing continued support and optimizing future efforts.

The “We Can Do This” campaign serves as a powerful example of how effective public education can save lives, protect communities, and generate a substantial return on investment. By building on these successes and adopting the principles showcased in this campaign, we can better prepare for future public health challenges and ensure a healthier future for all.


Vaccinations represent a shared victory for science and public health. They offer a powerful tool for preventing disease, protecting individuals and communities, and fostering a healthy and productive society. The success of the “We Can Do This” campaign underscores the importance of collective responsibility in achieving vaccination goals.

By prioritizing vaccination, advocating for accurate information, and supporting public health initiatives, we can continue to harness the power of vaccines to build a healthier world. The message is clear: vaccination saves lives, protects communities, and delivers a substantial return on investment. Let’s continue to champion vaccination and work together to ensure a future free from preventable diseases.