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Lives and Costs Saved by Expanding and Expediting COVID-19 Vaccination

Sarah M Bartsch, Patrick T Wedlock, Kelly J O’Shea, Sarah N Cox, lrich Strych, Jennifer B Nuzzo, Marie C Ferguson, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Sheryl S Siegmund, Peter J Hotez, Bruce Y Lee
Date posted:
May 06, 2021
Publication type:
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
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With multiple COVID-19 vaccines available, understanding the epidemiologic, clinical, and economic value of increasing coverage levels and expediting vaccination is important.


We developed a computational model (transmission and age-stratified clinical and economics outcome model) representing the US population, COVID-19 coronavirus spread (02/2020-12/2022), and vaccination to determine the impact of increasing coverage and expediting time to achieve coverage.


When achieving a given vaccination coverage in 270 days (70% vaccine efficacy), every 1% increase in coverage can avert an average of 876,800 (217,000–2,398,000) cases, varying with the number of people already vaccinated. For example, each 1% increase between 40%-50% coverage can prevent 1.5million cases, 56,240 hospitalizations, 6,660 deaths, gain 77,590 QALYs, save $602.8 million in direct medical costs and $1.3 billion in productivity losses . Expediting to 180 days could save an additional 5.8 million cases, 215,790 hospitalizations, 26,370 deaths, 206,520 QALYs, $3.5 billion in direct medical costs, and $4.3 billion in productivity losses.


Our study quantifies the potential value of decreasing vaccine hesitancy and increasing vaccination coverage and how this value may decrease with time it takes to achieve coverage, emphasizing the need to reach high coverage levels as soon as possible, especially before the Fall/Winter.



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