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Nearly 100 000 lives could be saved if 80% of eligible Americans got COVID boosters

If more Americans received COVID booster shots, billions of dollars could be saved and nearly 1m hospitalisations avoided, according to a study from The Commonwealth Fund and Yale School of Public Health, which says that the jabs, for the 80% of people eligible for them, could save as many as 90 000 lives and as much as $56.5bn by the end of year.

However, if booster vaccinations remain at their current pace, the researchers found, a potential COVID-19 winter surge could bring a peak of about 16 000 hospitalisations and 1 200 deaths per day by March, reports Axios.

Even matching 2020-2021 flu vaccine levels of closer to 50%-55% could save about 75 000 lives and prevent about 745 000 hospitalisations.

Currently, there are more than 400 daily COVID-19 deaths, on average, in the US, and only 36% of adults over 50 have had their second boosters.

Last week, White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci said the country ranked badly “in our acceptance of vaccines”, reports CNN.

“When you look at the data of the deaths and severe disease among unvaccinated versus vaccinated and boosted, versus vaccinated and doubly boosted, the data are crystal clear of the difference in severity and death among people who are not vaccinated,” he said during a webinar hosted by the University of Southern California’s Centre for Health Journalism.

“Yet in this rich country of ours, 68% of the population is vaccinated and only one half of those have received one booster. Somehow we’ve got to get down to the root cause of our poor vaccine acceptance, and it’s going to be complicated because a lot of it is because of political divisiveness.”

The researchers had updated an analysis originally released in July to examine the potential impact of uptake of booster shots on reducing hospitalisations, deaths and medical costs, examining three scenarios in the analysis: a baseline scenario in which daily vaccination rates remain unchanged, and two scenarios in which booster uptake increased by the end of the year, increasing either to a rate similar to the uptake of flu shots or to reach 80% of eligible people receiving their booster dose.

They then estimated the impact of each scenario on the projected number of infections, hospitalisations, deaths and medical costs expected from 1 October to 31 March.


Commonwealth Fund update – How many lives could a fall COVID-19 booster campaign save in the US (Open access)


Axios article – COVID boosters could save 90,000 lives, $56.5 billion (Open access)


CNN article – Covid-19 boosters could prevent about 90,000 US deaths this winter, but only if more people get them, analysis suggests (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Why you’ll need COVID boosters repeatedly, like flu jabs – Yale experts


Boosters up to 68% effective against hospitalisation following Omicron reinfection – CDC study


Fourth COVID jab gives 76% added protection against death – Israeli study




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