May 18, 2022 - News

Roughly 60% of Colorado's COVID deaths were preventable, per analysis

Data: Brown School of Public Health; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

About 62% of the nearly 7,400 COVID deaths in Colorado between January 2021 and April 2022 were preventable, according to an analysis of public health data by the Brown School of Public Health.

Driving the news: Researchers crafted a model illustrating what could have happened if 100% of American adults were fully vaccinated and boosted once the shots became available.

  • The study used real-world data from the CDC and the New York Times while considering variables such as supply and vaccine effectiveness over time.

The big picture: Nationwide, COVID vaccines could have prevented roughly 319,000 deaths, nearly half of which occurred during the study's time frame, Axios' Tina Reed reports.

Zoom in: Colorado, with its 4,575 preventable deaths, ranks No. 35 overall per 1 million people when compared to other states.

  • An estimated 80% of adults are fully vaccinated against the virus, and 56% of that group has received a booster. Both figures are higher than the national average.

What they're saying: "The vaccine rollout has been both a remarkable success and a remarkable failure," analysis co-author Brown's Stefanie Friedhoff told NPR.

  • While the U.S. was able to get a large vaccine supply rolled out quickly, the shots are useless if they're not going into arms.

The bottom line: As COVID immunity wanes over time and the virus continues to mutate, vaccines and boosters remain our best tools for fighting off new waves of infections.

  • Officials must remain committed to increasing vaccine demand, the study's authors say.

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