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Medicare beneficiaries lives saved by vaccine

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    Posted: October 07 2021 at 10:45am

HHS: COVID vaccine saved 39,000 Medicare beneficiaries' lives

A US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) analysis of Medicare data and county vaccination rates indicates that COVID-19 vaccinations administered from January until May 2021 were estimated to reduce COVID-19 infections by 265,000 and deaths by 39,000 among Medicare beneficiaries.

To conduct the study, HHS used Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) county-level COVID-19 vaccination rates for adults ages 18 to 64 and for those 65 years and older who were fully vaccinated to build a model that would determine how many cases, hospitalizations, and deaths were averted with full vaccination.

The study found an 11% to 12% decrease in weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths among Medicare beneficiaries for every 10% increase in county vaccination rates.

The study also suggested that 107,000 hospitalizations were avoided due to vaccination. These numbers represent an estimated 18% reduction in COVID-19 infections, 21% reduction in COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 22% reduction in COVID-19 deaths based on the number of potential COVID-19 outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries.

"This report reaffirms what we hear routinely from states: COVID-19 vaccines save lives, prevent hospitalizations, and reduce infection," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a press release.

The study authors conclude, "Vaccination rates have continued to rise over the summer, and with the surge in cases from the Delta variant, the importance of vaccination has likely grown substantially, given the Delta variant is more than twice as contagious as previous variants."

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