By Robert Preidt Health Day Journalist
health day reporter
MONDAY, May 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) — As the United States mourns one million deaths from COVID-19, a new study indicates the grim toll could have been worse. Use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine averted more than 110,000 deaths and 690,000 hospitalizations in the United States in 2021, the researchers report.
The vaccine also prevented 8.7 million symptomatic cases of infection and saved more than $30 billion in healthcare costs and more than $40 billion in lost productivity, the authors noted. the study.
“Analysis shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine had a substantial public health impact in the United States in 2021 and had a profound effect on the trajectory of the pandemic,” said Manuela Di Fusco, of the Pfizer Health Economics and Results Research Team. .
The Pfizer vaccine was the first COVID-19 vaccine available in the United States. It was given to nearly six in 10 people nationwide who were fully vaccinated in 2021, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The results were published online May 15 in the Journal of Medical Economics. All study authors received funding from Pfizer as employees, consultants, or corporate employees paid by Pfizer.
Despite the use of COVID-19 vaccines, the death toll in the United States during the pandemic approached one million last week.
President Joe Biden on Thursday ordered American flags flown at half mast.
“We must remain vigilant in the face of this pandemic and do everything in our power to save as many lives as possible,” Biden said.
In this study, researchers estimated the impact of the Pfizer vaccine using a model, real-world data, and clinical trial data.
The model used data on the number of people vaccinated, the effectiveness of the vaccine in various age groups, and the risks of becoming infected, developing symptoms, and being hospitalized.
It also included the effects of long COVID, the number of workdays likely lost due to short-term illness, and the economic impact of premature deaths from illness.
The model did not include the impact of the more transmissible Omicron variant which became the dominant strain of coronavirus at the end of the study period.
The vaccine is estimated to “prevent millions of symptomatic cases of COVID-19, thousands of hospitalizations and deaths, and generated billions in societal economic value in the United States in 2021,” Di Fusco said in a statement. Press.
The results “highlight the possibility of continuing widespread adoption of vaccination to prevent COVID-19-related illnesses and generate societal benefits,” she added.
According to Di Fusco and colleagues, a number of limitations could have caused the study’s numbers to be underestimated. These include ignoring the vaccine’s potential to reduce coronavirus transmission, the severity of cases and the overall impact of a long COVID.
The researchers also noted that their findings cannot be applied to other COVID-19 vaccines or groups of people not specifically analyzed in the study.
There’s more on COVID-19 vaccines at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCE: Journal of Medical Economics, press release, May 16, 2022