Early US vaccine efforts may have prevented 140K COVID deaths, 3 million cases



The first push of the US COVID-19 vaccination campaign averted an estimated 140,000 deaths and more than 3 million infections by early May, saving $625 billion to $1.4 trillion, suggests an observational study yesterday in Health Affairs.

In the first known study to evaluate the effects of state-level vaccination campaigns, a team led by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) researchers modeled the number of COVID-19 deaths that would have occurred from Dec 21, 2020, to May 9, 2021, had it not been for vaccines.

The difference between the actual number of deaths and the modeling data provided an estimate of the number of deaths prevented.

All states benefit, some more than others

Vaccines prevented an estimated 139,393 deaths and 3.1 million infections in the United States after the Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines on Dec 11, 2020, followed by the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Dec 18 and Feb 27, 2021, respectively.

“The existence of multiple COVID-19 vaccines offers hope that the ongoing vaccination campaign will slow COVID-19 transmission, save lives, and enable a return to normal activities,” the study authors wrote.



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