Quick Action on Vaccines in US Prevented Deaths, says Study

Investigators created models which estimated the number of COVID-19 deaths and cases that would have occurred if the early vaccine campaign had never happened.

The early vaccine campaign that was initiated in the United States prevented a significant amount of deaths, as well as cases of COVID-19, according to a study conducted by investigators from the RAND Corporation, in collaboration with Indiana University.

Results from the study were published in the journal Health Affairs.

“This study brings into focus the dramatic success of the early months of the nation’s coronavirus vaccine rollout,” Christopher Whaley, senior author on the study said. “The findings provide support for policies that further expand vaccine administration to enable a larger proportion of the nation’s population to benefit.”

For the study, the team of investigators created models which estimated the number of COVID-19 deaths and cases that would have occurred if the early vaccine campaign had never happened.

The team gathered information from each state on the number of vaccine doses administered from the Bloomberg COVID-19 vaccine tracker and data on COVID-19 deaths for each state from The New York Times’ Coronavirus (COVID-19) Data in the United States database.

Findings from the study showed that progress of vaccinations varied over time in different states.

Deaths that were prevented because of the early vaccinations were estimated to be around 140,000, with cases prevented being an estimated 3 million by the second week of May, 2021.

Additionally, the economic value of the lives saved during the study period is estimated to be between $625 billion and $1.4 trillion.

“Our results suggest that further efforts to vaccinate populations globally and in a coordinated fashion will be critical to achieving greater control of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sumedha Gupta, first author on the study said.

This article originally appeared in Contagion®.