The State is now covering all of the costs of vaccination against Covid-19. The Confederation has thus set aside more than 400 million francs. Is this public funding economically justified?
Health economists traditionally admit that a vaccine produces positive externalities: in addition to individual immunity, the vaccine helps stop the chain of transmission, reducing the likelihood of infection also for unvaccinated people. As a general rule, without public intervention, the presence of positive externalities implies a sub-optimal level of vaccination. In fact, each individual balances the individual benefits of vaccination (reduction of contamination risks) and individual costs (medical costs, costs of travel to the vaccination center, possible side effects, perceived risks, etc.). He does not take into account the benefits that other individuals get from his vaccination. Thus, at the scale of the company, a quantity of vaccines lower than the optimum is administered.