LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Vaccinations against COVID-19 saved 400 lives among Medicare recipients in Nevada between January and the end of May, according to projections included in a study released today.
Overall, the study concludes that vaccinations reduced hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19, and higher vaccination rates directly reduced cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
“We find an 11-12% decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths for every 10% increase in county vaccination rates, and a similar decrease in infections among Medicare beneficiaries,” according to the study.
For Nevada, that translated into 2,100 fewer COVID-19 cases and 1,000 fewer hospitalizations among Medicare recipients, as well as the 400 lives saved.
Nationwide, the study says 39,000 deaths were prevented among Medicare recipients, along with 265,000 fewer COVID-19 infections and 107,000 hospitalizations.
And while the projections tell the story of reducing the pandemic’s toll in hard numbers, the study emphasizes how effective vaccinations can be early in the cycle.
“This suggests that initial increases in vaccination rates are likely very effective and even a modest increase in vaccination rates has a large payoff,” researchers said.
The study of the vaccine’s impact from January through May looked at Medicare recipients’ claims related to COVID, providing detail unavailable to other studies that have also found significant reductions in deaths.
The Delta variant, which surged after the time period in the study, will likely give further proof of the effectiveness of vaccinations because the vaccination rate was so much higher by the time the variant started to spread.