May 20, 2022 - COVID

Nearly 3,000 of Iowa's COVID deaths were preventable, analysis finds

Vaccine-preventable COVID-19 deaths per 1 million adults
Data: Brown School of Public Health; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Vaccines could have prevented nearly 3,000 COVID-related deaths in Iowa between January 2021 and last month, according to a new analysis by Brown University's School of Public Health.

The big picture: The analysis suggests that roughly half of the more than 641,000 deaths nationwide since 2021 could have been prevented, Axios' Tina Reed reports.

How it works: 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.

Zoom in: Nearly 5,600 COVID-related deaths have been reported in Iowa since 2021.

  • The state ranks No. 28 in preventable deaths per 1 million people, when compared to other states.

What they're saying: "The vaccine rollout has been both a remarkable success and a remarkable failure," Stefanie Friedhoff, one of the analysis' authors, 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, she said.

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.

Bonus: Listen to The Daily's somber remembrance after the U.S. passed the grim milestone of 1 million COVID deaths this week.

U.S. COVID-19 deaths by age group
Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals
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