WASHINGTON — A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows COVID-19 vaccinations may have helped prevent about 8,500 new infections and 1,400 deaths among seniors in Michigan during the first five months of 2021.
The study, which was conducted by researchers with HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, also found that nationally, vaccinations were linked to a reduction of about 265,000 COVID-19 infections, 107,000 hospitalizations and 39,000 deaths among Medicare beneficiaries between January and May 2021.
Officials released the findings of the study Tuesday.
“This report reaffirms what we hear routinely from states: COVID-19 vaccines save lives, prevent hospitalizations and reduce infection,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said. “The Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized getting vaccines quickly to pharmacies, nursing homes, doctors’ offices and even provided increased reimbursement rates for at-home COVID-19 vaccinations so that seniors and others can easily get vaccinated.”
More than 352,000 people died of the virus during the first nine months of the pandemic.
Before the vaccines became available, almost 805 of these deaths were among people 65 and older who were also Medicare eligible.
Between January and May 2021 – when vaccination grew from 1% to 47% among adults 18 to 64 and from 1% to 80% among seniors, the study found an 11-12% decrease in weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths among Medicare beneficiaries for every 10% increase in county vaccination rates.
All racial and ethnic groups and all 48 states analyzed saw reduced numbers of COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations and infections linked to vaccination rate increases. Texas and Hawaii weren’t included in the analysis because of “data reporting limitations.”
Read the full report here.