COVID boosters could save 90,000 lives, $56.5 billion
About 90,000 lives would be saved and more than 936,000 hospitalizations could be prevented if 80% of Americans eligible for the latest COVID-19 boosters get vaccinated by year's end, according to a new paper from The Commonwealth Fund and Yale School of Public Health.
The big picture: Even matching 2020–2021 flu vaccine levels of closer to 50%–55% could save about 75,000 lives and prevent about 745,000 hospitalizations.
Why it matters: The U.S. is on track for a far lower rate. Only 36% of adults older than 50 have gotten second boosters.
- "If vaccination continued at its current pace through the end of March 2023, a potential winter surge in COVID-19 infections could result in a peak of around 16,000 hospitalizations and 1,200 deaths per day by March 2023," the researchers said.
Between the lines: The low booster rate could weigh heavily on government health programs.
- Getting 80% of eligible Americans boosted could save $56.3 billion in direct medical costs, including $13.5 billion in Medicare spending and $4.5 billion in Medicaid spending.
Yes, but: Comments Tuesday by White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci threw cold water on any COVID predictions, as he warned of the possibility of new vaccine-evading variants this winter.