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Home » COVID vaccines prevented 235,000 deaths through fall, 2021 in the USA

COVID vaccines prevented 235,000 deaths through fall, 2021 in the USA

CDC research claims that COVID-19 vaccines were estimated to have prevented 27 million infections, 1.6 million hospitalizations, and 235,000 deaths among U.S. adults, from December 2020 through September 2021. This is overwhelming evidence in support of the effectiveness of these vaccines.

I know the anti-vaxxers have, without any robust and reliable evidence, tried to claim that the COVID-19 vaccines caused an incredible number of deaths. But real scientists with real data have shown that the COVID-19 vaccines prevented over 235,000 deaths in around 10 months. Those are facts.

Let’s take a look at the published, peer-reviewed paper that supports the CDC’s claims. Stand by for real science as opposed to dumpster diving in VAERS data.

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COVID-19 vaccines prevent deaths article

In a paper published in JAMA Network Open on 1 July 2022, Molly K. Steele, PPh.D. MSc, MPH, of the CDC, and colleagues estimated infections, hospitalizations, and deaths prevented by COVID-19 vaccines. They used a multiplier model that extrapolated the number of infections and COVID-associated deaths from data on the number of COVID-associated hospitalizations broken down by state, month, and age group (18-49, 50-64, and 65 and older) from December 2020 through September 2021, factoring in the official start of the U.S. vaccination program on Dec. 12, 2020, as well as subsequent staggered rollouts.

This is what they found:

  • By the end of September 2021, approximately 67% of those 18 and older and 83% of those 65 and older had received either two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson adenovirus vaccine.
  • As I wrote above, from December 2020 through September 2021, COVID-19 vaccines were estimated to have prevented about 27 million infections, 1.6 million hospitalizations, and 235,000 deaths among U.S. adults. There is no data available at this time on children and teens, but we can expect those estimates soon.
  • Most of the hospitalizations and deaths prevented were observed in adults 65 and older, with 759,000 hospitalizations and 154,000 deaths prevented.
  • 525,000 hospitalizations and 66,000 deaths were prevented in the 50-64 age group.
  • During September 2021 alone, vaccines were estimated to have prevented 52% of expected infections, 56% of expected hospitalizations, and 58% of expected deaths in adults.
  • Whereas the 18-49 age group saw the highest cumulative number of infections, at 29,000 per 100,000 population, the 65 and older age group saw the highest cumulative number of hospitalizations and deaths, 2,740 and 560 per 100,000 population, respectively.

The authors concluded:

Our estimates, particularly in the early part of 2021, are relatively conservative because most vaccinated individuals during this period were older adults (i.e., older adults were prioritized for vaccination early compared with younger adults); we also included lower VE [vaccine effectiveness] estimates for those 65 years or older.

Vaccination is an effective public health intervention with demonstrable impact, which will be critical in combination with nonpharmaceutical interventions to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This is powerful data that show the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in preventing hospitalization and deaths, especially in older adults. As I say a lot, the safety and effectiveness of vaccines are settled science — I think we’re getting more and more evidence that we can say the same of the COVID-19 vaccines.

And this isn’t the only study that has shown such dramatic results from the COVID-19 vaccines. A study

But a new study, published on 23 June 2022 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimates that vaccines prevented 14.4 million COVID deaths between Dec. 8, 2020 — the date when the first COVID vaccine was administered outside a trial setting — and Dec. 8, 2021. Had those deaths occurred, COVID’s death toll would jump from 6.3 million today to almost 21 million, a threefold increase.

Despite what you might think or feel, COVID-19 has not left us. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine saves lives, and we have evidence to support that.


Michael Simpson

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