Vaccines could have prevented 318,000 COVID deaths


This week, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. reached more than 1 million. Researchers have determined that 318,000 COVID-19 of those deaths could have been prevented by available vaccines.

Brown University in Providence, R.I., Friday announced the analysis results from researchers at Brown School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Microsoft AI for Health.

“At least every second person who died from COVID-19 since vaccines became available might have been saved by getting the shot,” said the university.

States where the most lives might have been saved by vaccination include West Virginia, Wyoming, Tennessee, Kentucky and Oklahoma, per the analysis. Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Vermont and Hawaii have the lowest numbers of vaccine-preventable deaths.

COVID-19 vaccines first became available in December 2020 and are still widely available in the U.S., along with booster doses. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that the percentage of people against getting vaccinated has fluctuated from 12% to 17% since vaccines were first offered.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data updated Friday showed that around 66% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Democrats are more likely to be vaccinated and Republicans are more likely to intend not to get vaccinated, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

A “vocal minority of vaccine opponents,” in the U.S. have staged rallies and filed lawsuits regarding COVID-19 vaccination, according to Vox.

As cases and hospitalizations went up over the past week, COVID-19 deaths have continued to trend down. However, there is still an average of 273 COVID-19 related deaths per day, which is slightly less than average deaths per day from diabetes in the U.S., according to recent CDC statistics.

Brown School of Public Health has created a dashboard that provides “critical insights for federal and state COVID-19 response teams,” regarding COVID-19 deaths.