Apr 22, 2022 - Health

More than 230,000 U.S. COVID deaths were preventable, analysis finds

A hospital bed.
Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Roughly 234,000 COVID deaths since last June could have been prevented with a primary series vaccination, according to a newly updated Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

Why it matters: The deaths account for 60% of total adult COVID deaths since June and a quarter of the nearly 1 million fatalities since the pandemic began.

The big picture: The researchers say COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death — even in the face of new, highly contagious variants like Omicron.

  • CDC estimates that in February and March, unvaccinated people were 10 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people were vaccinated with at least the primary series. 
  • The analysis didn't attempt to estimate the potential effect of booster protection.
  • Researchers used Kaiser tracking data for COVID deaths and a CDC dataset from 25 jurisdictions that shows the share of adult deaths that are among unvaccinated and vaccinated people. 
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