Covid vaccines have so far saved nearly 300,000 lives in US, study says

Research shows jab campaign has ‘markedly curbed the US pandemic,’ White House says

Louise Hall
Friday 09 July 2021 13:51
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Coronavirus vaccines are predicted to have saved nearly 300,000 lives in the US since their mass rollout amid the ongoing pandemic, a new study has said.

Researchers at Yale University and the Commonwealth Fund estimated that there would have been about 279,000 additional deaths due to Covid-19 by the end of June had vaccines not been used, CNN reported.

Researchers modeled data to compare the current trajectories of cases, hospitalisations and deaths against estimated predictions of the same metrics in the case that vaccines had not been used.

“The study states the vaccination campaign markedly curbed the US pandemic,” White House Covid-19 response director Jeff Zients said at a press briefing on Thursday.

He added: "This is further evidence that our whole-of-government strategy is working and has prevented significant further tragedy and disruption to Americans’ lives and livelihoods.”

The estimated figure for the deaths at the end of June represents about a 46 per cent mark up compared to the actual figure, CNN reported.

The study also highlighted the significance of the speed of the rollout, showing that if the programme had progressed at half the pace that they did, about 121,000 more people may have died.

In terms of hospitalisations, the researchers predicted that over a million people may have avoided admittance to hospital as a result of the vaccine programme by the end of June.

Over 600,000 people have died in the US of Covid-19 since the pandemic gripped the country in March 2020.

Since the mass vaccine rollout began in December, 183,237,046 people, or 55.2 per cent of the population, have had at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, in recent months, jab rates have slowed to less than half of what they were in May, at which point the Biden administration had been smashing its vaccination goals, CNN reported.

The broadcaster points out that groups that have been most affected by Covid-19 remain the most underrepresented among vaccinated groups.

Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has expressed concerns amid signs of growth of the more transmissible Delta variant that disparate vaccine uptake could lead to “two Americas”.

The doctor told CNN that “a low level of vaccination superimposed upon a variant that has a high degree of efficiency of spread” would lead to “blips” “among undervaccinated regions”.

He added: "It’s almost like it’s going to be two Americas."

The variant initially recorded in India has now become the dominant coronavirus variant in the US and is said to have been detected in all 50 states and Washington, DC.

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