Around two years have passed since the first person was given the shot of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. Recently a study that has been put together by the Commonwealth Fund has shown that COVID-19 vaccines have been able to prevent around 3 million deaths in the United States.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 1 million lives in the US so far. However, this study has revealed that the count of lives claimed by the deadly pandemic would have been even higher if the country had relied on natural immunity acquired through prior COVID-19 infection as the main defense to fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The authors of the study have asserted that in the absence of vaccines, the number of deaths linked to COVID-19 would have been four times more than the current death toll in the country. While the country would have witnessed 1.5 times more cases of COVID-19 and 3.3 times more hospitalizations.
The findings of the study reveal that COVID-19 vaccines have been able to save a sum of $1 trillion in medical costs. Many other experts who have not been involved in the study have said that COVID-19 shots have been worth taxpayers’ money.
The study has been done by a group of health experts from the University of Maryland, the Yale School of Public Health, and York University. They have utilized a computational model in the study that has helped them to assess multiple other factors such as waning immunity or the vaccine and booster eligibility for different age groups into their calculations.
Other experts feel that including all these factors together can lead to arithmetical ambiguity in the findings, which means there might be a higher margin for error in the outcomes of the study. However, the authors of the study have recognized this ambiguity and provided credible intervals for their findings. First, they have made sure that their approach can accurately estimate actual hospitalization, case, and death patterns from December 2020 to November 2022 to standardize their model. Then, they have eliminated the immunization factors of the model to assess what would have occurred in the absence of COVID-19 shots.
The chief of Yale’s Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis and the lead author of the new study, Dr. Alison Galvani has claimed that if we look at the time frame of the past two years, we will be able to understand that COVID-19 shots have prevented more deaths as compared to lives that have been lost due to the dreaded virus during the pandemic.
The findings of the study have confirmed that COVID-19 shots are quite effective against severe COVID-19 infection and death linked to the disease as vaccines have led to more hospitalizations as compared to COVID-19 infections. A prior version of the study was released in April 2022.
The latest version of the study has included another factor, the frequency of comorbidities in the US population into the model. Other factors such as boosters’ traits of multiple variants, changes in the restriction during the pandemic, and mobility patterns as well have been added in the latest version of the study. This research is one version of a series that has been supported by the Commonwealth Fund.
An associate professor of epidemiology from Georgia Southern University, Dr. Isaac Chun-Hai Fung has said that the findings of the study apply to other infectious ailments as well such as the flu, not just COVID-19 immunizations. He has asserted that people should continue to encourage preventive therapy. Fung has said that all types of vaccines play a major role in keeping people healthy and safe.