Study Says Covid-19 Vaccines Have Saved More Than 3 Million Us Lives, but the Fight Isn’t Over
According to a new study, the Covid-19 vaccinations have kept more than 18.5 million individuals out of the hospital and saved more than 3.2 million lives in the United States – and that number is most likely conservative, the researchers believe.
The United States is approaching the second anniversary of the first Covid-19 immunizations, and while the coronavirus continues to cause thousands of illnesses and deaths, the vaccines have made living with the virus more bearable.
To estimate how much the injections have helped, researchers developed a computer model of disease transmission that included demographic data, risk factors, infection dynamics, and general vaccination information.
The Commonwealth Fund and Yale School of Public Health conducted the study.
Their analysis, which was published on Tuesday, discovered that if Covid-19 vaccinations had not been available, the country would have experienced 1.5 times more infections, 3.8 times more hospitalizations, and 4.1 times more deaths than it did between December 2020 and November 2022.
As of now, Covid-19 has caused at least 99.2 million illnesses and about 1.08 million fatalities in the United States. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 2,981 new fatalities and 30,253 new hospital admissions in the previous week.
According to the report, immunizations were also a sound financial gamble, saving the United States $1.15 trillion in medical costs.
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When the cases of extended Covid that immunizations likely averted are considered, the savings could be significantly larger, according to Alison Galvani, one of the study’s authors.
“Given the urgency of highly transmissible variations and immune-evading variants like Omicron, it is a fantastic success and an exceptional achievement,” said Galvani, founder of the Yale Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis.
“Moving ahead, rapid adoption of the new booster will be critical to avoiding future hospitalization and mortality.”
In the United States, almost 658 million Covid-19 vaccinations have been provided. However, since they were approved this fall, acceptance of the new boosters, which target both the original virus strain and the Omicron BA.4/5 subvariants, has been modest.
According to the CDC, just approximately 14% of the eligible population has received one, and 1 in 5 people in the US is still entirely unvaccinated.
The Biden administration has been urging more Americans to get boosted, especially with the upcoming holiday season.
“Don’t put it off. “You put yourself at risk if you delay,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s main medical adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at an AARP event on Friday.
“We’re approaching the cooler months of late fall and early winter. We’re all planning to spend the holidays with our family and friends. That’s fantastic if you’re up to date. If you aren’t, get vaccinated right now.”
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According to the CDC, the number of Covid-19 cases has been increasing, as have deaths and hospitalizations.
Around 14% of the US population lives in an area that meets the CDC’s criteria for a “high” Covid-19 community level, which includes New York City, Los Angeles County, and Maricopa County, Arizona – a significant increase from less than 5% last week but still far below levels seen during previous surges.
At this level of contamination, the CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors.
“We’re all sick of sickness,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins on Friday. “Each of us has the ability to dramatically minimize our risk of illness.”
As the numbers rise, experts suggest wearing masks may be suitable in specific situations.
Masking is recommended by the CDC for anyone who uses public transit. It also advocates wearing one in other public places in neighborhoods where transmission is strong.
Even in regions with just medium community levels, people who are at high risk of serious sickness should wear masks.
Other fundamental precautions remain: keep your hands clean, and stay at home if you’re unwell.