COVID vaccines have saved more than 3 million lives in the United States since 2020
December 13, 2022 – COVID-19 vaccinations prevented 3.2 million deaths and 18.5 million hospitalizations in the United States from December 2020 to November 2022according to a new report Tuesday from the Commonwealth Fund and the Yale School of Public Health.
The report, compiled from computer modeling, comes as the United States approaches the second anniversary of the administration of the first COVID vaccine in the country to treat Sandra Lindsay on December 14, 2020.
According to the report of a team led by Meagan C. Fitzpatrick, PhD, with the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.
“Without vaccination, there would have been nearly 120 million additional COVID-19 infections,” the authors write.
In 2 years, the United States administered more than 655 million doses, and 80% of the population received at least one dose, according to the report.
Fewer cases, hospitalizations and deaths
Since Dec. 12, 2020, 82 million infections, 4.8 million hospitalizations, and 798,000 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the United States, according to study data.
Without vaccination, the United States would have had 1.5 times more infections, 3.8 times more hospitalizations and 4.1 times more deaths, the modeling shows.
All variants taken into account
The research considered patterns of five variants, each of which accounted for at least 3% of cases in the United States, including Iota, Alpha, Gamma, Delta and Omicron, in addition to the SARS-CoV-2 strain d ‘origin.
“We assessed the impact of vaccine deployment by simulating the trajectory of the pandemic in the counterfactual scenario without vaccination,” the authors write.
“This report highlights the fundamental and important fact that vaccines save lives,” says Syra Madad, DHSc, senior director of the System-wide Special Pathogens Program at NYC Health and Hospitals.
She says this study, and a study last month in JAMAOpen network by examining New York City’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign and its return on investment, show that the campaigns “reduce the number of infections and death rates, decrease hospitalization rates, avoid costs of care health and provide broader economic benefits such as sustaining a healthier life and more productive workforce.
Last month’s New York report found that every dollar invested in vaccination resulted in an estimated savings of $10.19 in direct and indirect costs that would have been incurred without the vaccine.
Timothy Brewer, MD, professor of medicine and epidemiology at UCLA, says the savings estimate ranges are quite narrow, making them more reliable.
He says the projections are consistent with recent findings of the continued high protection of second recalls against hospitalizations and deaths (compared to first recalls) in a CDC study more than 9,500 residents of retirement homes.
“I think those will probably be very reasonable numbers,” Brewer says.
He says it’s important to keep measuring the success of vaccines focused on the number of hospitalizations and deaths they prevent, the primary goal of vaccines, and not on breakthrough infections.
Numbers may underestimate savings
Co-author Alison Galvani, PhD, founding director of the Yale Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis, says the model only considers acute infection and may underestimate the total benefit.
Fewer infections, she noted, also means fewer cases and the accompanying costs of a long COVID, for example.
Galvani said that although this study was conducted in the United States, the cost savings and infection prevention could inspire other countries struggling with vaccine coverage efforts and organizations that distribute vaccines to less resourced countries. .
William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, says “the numbers are staggering in size.”
“This is a report to the American people,” he says, “saying, ‘We asked you to invest in this, and you did it with your tax money. You know, vaccines really work. Many of your family members, neighbors, friends are with you today, able to celebrate the holiday, because they have been vaccinated.