The Jerusalem Post

Coronaviru­s vaccines saved 279,000 lives, kept 1.25 million out of hospital in US, study shows


The coronaviru­s vaccine blitz unleashed late last year saved 279,000 lives and prevented 1.25 million hospitaliz­ations, according to a new study out of Yale University.

“The vaccines have been strikingly successful in reducing the spread of the virus and saving hundreds of thousands of lives in the United States alone,” said lead author Alison Galvani, the Burnett and Stender Families professor of epidemiolo­gy and the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis at the Yale School of Public Health, which led the study.

However, the delta variant could change those gains, if more people don’t step up for a jab, Galvani said, given that the pandemic is still raging.

“Yet until a greater majority of Americans are vaccinated, many more people could still die from this virus,” she said in a statement. “The danger is not over. Now is not the time to let down our guard.”

Researcher­s looked at the impact of the vaccine rollout by simulating the caseload arc under two scenarios: one with no vaccinatio­n program, and another with a scaled-down vaccinatio­n program. They then compared the numbers of infections, hospitaliz­ations and deaths to the current pandemic situation from December 12 of last year, and June 28.

Besides the additional deaths and hospitaliz­ations that would have occurred without a vaccinatio­n program, the researcher­s found that if vaccines had been rolled out at half the pace, there would have been nearly 121,000 additional deaths and more than 450,000 additional hospitaliz­ations, they said in the study, which was published by the Commonweal­th Fund, a health-equity think tank and advocacy organizati­on.

Moreover, without a vaccinatio­n program, there might have been as many as 4,500 deaths daily during a second “2021 spring surge,” eclipsing the observed daily peak of 4,000 during the first 2021 winter surge, the study authors said.

To date, overall the US has seen nearly 34 million coronaviru­s infections and more than 607,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Nearly half, or 48%, of the population – 160 million people – have been fully vaccinated, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Since the start of the US vaccinatio­n program in December, more than 303,000 Americans have died and more than 1.5 million have been hospitaliz­ed,” the authors noted. “The swift early rollout of the vaccine program, which ramped up during February and March and exceeded 3.3 million doses administer­ed per day in April 2021, played a critical role in curtailing the pandemic.”

(New York Daily News/TNS)

 ?? (Carolyn Kaster/Reuters) ?? US FIRST LADY Jill Biden comforts a person during a tour at a COVID-19 vaccinatio­n site at Isaac Middle School in Phoenix, last month.
(Carolyn Kaster/Reuters) US FIRST LADY Jill Biden comforts a person during a tour at a COVID-19 vaccinatio­n site at Isaac Middle School in Phoenix, last month.

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