Fall booster campaign could prevent 745,000 hospitalizations, report finds

Increasing COVID-19 booster administration this fall could save up to 160,000 lives and prevent more than 1 million hospitalizations, according to an Oct. 5 analysis from the Commonwealth Fund.

Researchers used a simulation model to project the trajectory of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths for three scenarios.

If omicron booster coverage mirrored flu shot rates for the 2020-21 season, the U.S. could prevent 75,000 deaths, more than 745,000 hospitalizations and 19.8 million infections, which translates into $44.3 billion saved in direct medical costs. 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 90,000 deaths, 936,000 hospitalizations and more than 25 million infections while saving $56.3 million in medical costs. 

If the vaccination rate maintains its current pace, the U.S. could see a peak of 16,000 new hospitalizations and 1,200 deaths daily by March. At the height of last winter's omicron surge, the U.S. saw more than 20,000 new admissions and 2,600 deaths daily, according to CDC data. 

View the full report here.


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