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Estimated Number of COVID-19 Infections, Hospitalizations, and Deaths Prevented Among Vaccinated Persons in the US, December 2020 to September 2021.

Abstract

The number of SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-associated hospitalizations and deaths prevented among vaccinated persons, independent of the effect of reduced transmission, is a key measure of vaccine impact.

To estimate the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-associated hospitalizations and deaths prevented among vaccinated adults in the US.

COVID-19 vaccination was estimated to prevent approximately 27 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 22 million to 34 million) infections, 1.6 million (95% UI, 1.4 million to 1.8 million) hospitalizations, and 235 000 (95% UI, 175 000-305 000) deaths in the US from December 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021, among vaccinated adults 18 years or older. From September 1 to September 30, 2021, vaccination was estimated to prevent 52% (95% UI, 45%-62%) of expected infections, 56% (95% UI, 52%-62%) of expected hospitalizations, and 58% (95% UI, 53%-63%) of expected deaths in adults 18 years or older.

Completion of the COVID-19 vaccination course, defined as 2 doses of messenger RNA (BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273) vaccines or 1 dose of JNJ-78436735 vaccine.

These findings indicate that the US COVID-19 vaccination program prevented a substantial burden of morbidity and mortality through direct protection of vaccinated individuals.

In this modeling study, a multiplier model was used to extrapolate the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-associated deaths from data on the number of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations stratified by state, month, and age group (18-49, 50-64, and ≥65 years) in the US from December 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021. These estimates were combined with data on vaccine coverage and effectiveness to estimate the risks of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Risks were applied to the US population 18 years or older to estimate the expected burden in that population without vaccination. The estimated burden in the US population 18 years or older given observed levels of vaccination was subtracted from the expected burden in the US population 18 years or older without vaccination (ie, counterfactual) to estimate the impact of vaccination among vaccinated persons.

Monthly numbers and percentages of SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-associated hospitalizations and deaths prevented were estimated among those who have been vaccinated in the US.

MIDAS Network Members

Carrie Reed

Team Lead, Applied Research and Modeling
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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