About 113,000 Americans could've avoided the hospital in June and July if they received a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new study. Instead, they got sick enough to be admitted—at an estimated direct cost of $2.3 billion.
More than 98% of people hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis between May and July 2021 were unvaccinated, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports in a research brief published Friday. While not all hospitalizations would've been stopped by the vaccine, the report estimates that 113,000 of the 185,000 inpatient stays with a COVID-19 diagnosis in June and July were preventable.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 28% of U.S. adults were unvaccinated as of Sunday; an additional 11% had received only the first shot of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. These vaccine holdouts, and the emergence of the highly contagious delta variant, has driven the latest surge in COVID-19 cases overwhelming hospitals in states with low vaccination rates. The vaccine is highly likely to prevent severe disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, as well as mild infections.
Preventable costs for unvaccinated coronavirus-related hospitalizations totaled $2.3 billion, according to the analysis of HHS and CDC data that averaged related admissions at $20,000 per person.