October 2021

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Health Capsule

COVID-19 Vaccines Prevented Nearly 140,000 U.S. Deaths

COVID-19 vaccines are a key tool in fighting the pandemic. They slow the spread of the virus. They’ve also been shown to reduce COVID-19 deaths. A study estimated how many deaths were prevented because of the vaccines.

Researchers collected data on state vaccination rates and COVID-19 deaths. They used the data to create a statistical model.

Based on the model, COVID-19 vaccines saved nearly 140,000 lives in the U.S. through May 2021. About 570,000 people died of COVID-19 in the U.S. through that time. The model estimated that there would have been about 709,000 deaths without the vaccines.

Some states had more effective vaccine rollouts. They were able to vaccinate more people faster. This led to greater protection of their population.

The study found that New York had the greatest reduction in COVID-19 deaths. Researchers estimated that vaccines led to nearly 12 fewer deaths per 10,000 people in the state. Hawaii had the smallest reduction, with about one fewer death per 10,000 people.

The findings highlight the crucial role of vaccines in saving lives during the pandemic.

“This study brings into focus the dramatic success of the early months of the nation’s coronavirus vaccine rollout,” says Dr. Christopher Whaley of the RAND Corporation, who led the study.