While the pandemic is still ongoing, the fact that we have vaccines against COVID-19 is a massive relief for millions! After all, according to some new research, the shots have managed to save many lives.
As you might know from public updates, over 200 million people living in the United States have gotten at least the first shot of the vaccine, believing that it can truly slow transmission and significantly lower their chance of complications if they do test positive.
Based on large-scale clinical trials, the vaccines are highly efficient in presenting a really severe form of the virus and, most importantly, in preventing death!
Of course, it is still vital to keep documenting any new treatment in the world since the benefits of the vaccines presented in clinical trials can still differ from real world results.
For example, many American citizens have decided to only get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine instead of both of them, leading to higher chances of transmitting the disease and having serious symptoms when compared to those who are fully vaccinated.
On the other hand, vaccinated people are less likely to give the virus to other people than those unvaccinated which could make vaccines more efficient in real life than in clinical trials.
So how many lives have been objectively saved thanks to vaccinations in the United States?
Associate Professor of Economics, IUPUI, Sumedha Gupta, and her team started to study the association between vaccination rates and the COVID-19 cases and deaths in every state in March of this year, when data on state vaccination began to be more and more available from state agencies.
The researchers tried to create a model accurate enough to be able to measure vaccine efficiency within all the factors that can lead to COVID-19 deaths.
So they compared COVID incidence in the states with a higher vaccination rate to those with a lower vaccination rate and even took into consideration the variety of factors that could have influenced the spread of the virus within states such as weather, seasonal changes in behavior, quarantine orders, mask mandates, population density and more!
They even accounted for the delay that takes place between the time a person receives their shots and when the immune system actually manages to build up protection against the virus.
Before introducing all the variables, the researchers started by comparing the reported deaths with an estimate their model created, just to test its accuracy.
And so, they were able to calculate that by May 9 of this year, there should’ve been 569,193 deaths in the United States.
Sure enough, the difference was less than 2 percent from the actual 578,862 deaths reported, proving the statistical model’s prediction to be quite reliable.
At that point, they managed to “turn off” the vaccination effect and find out just how much of a difference the shots made to people’s survival.
By using up to date data containing each state’s vaccination rates, COVID-19 cases and deaths caused by the virus, the researchers learned that without the vaccines, 708,586 people would have lost their lives by May 9 of this year.
This means that their statistical model was able to prove that without the shots, 140,000 more people would have passed away of COVID-19 complications by May 9, 2021.
Keep in mind that this study only took into consideration those few months right after the vaccination process started.
But even in that short period of time, it managed to save so many lives despite vaccination rates being so low in quite a few American states at that point.
“I can say with certainty that vaccines have since then saved many more lives – and will continue to do so as long as the coronavirus is still around,” Gupta states in her article for The Conversation.