Fall booster campaign could prevent 160,000 deaths, report finds

Ramping up COVID-19 booster administration this fall could save up to 160,000 lives and prevent more than 1 million hospitalizations, according to a July 26 analysis from the Commonwealth Fund.

Researchers used a simulation model to project the trajectory of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths if the U.S. completed an early fall vaccination campaign that opened eligibility to anyone who received their first booster at least five months earlier.

If booster coverage mirrored flu shot rates for the 2020-21 season, the U.S. could prevent 101,858 deaths, more than 1 million hospitalizations and nearly 25 million infections. Researchers also modeled a more ambitious scenario in which 80 percent of eligible people get boosted this fall. Under this model, the nation could prevent 159,827 deaths, 1.7 million hospitalizations and more than 48 million infections. 

"An early fall vaccination campaign could avert between $63 billion and $109 billion in medical costs, depending on level of booster coverage achieved, with the majority of savings resulting from averted hospitalizations, particularly in the [intensive care unit]," researchers said.

Read the full report here.


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