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New study reveals how many lives the COVID-19 vaccine really saved

Did the COVID-19 vaccine stop hundreds of thousands of deaths? Yes.

Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are kept cold during a Utah County Health clinic at Equestrian Park in Highland on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has revealed how many lives and coronavirus infections the COVID-19 vaccine stopped — and it’s a staggering number.

The report — which was published Tuesday — found that the COVID-19 vaccine stopped at least a quarter-million COVID-19 infections among seniors and prevented thousands of deaths linked to COVID-19 from January to May in 2021, per CNN.

Researchers at HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation found in the report that the vaccine helped prevent infection, hospitalization and death among those who received the vaccine through Medicare, which is mostly seniors.

According to the report, the vaccine stopped:

  • 265,000 new COVID-19 infections.
  • 107,000 hospitalizations.
  • 39,000 deaths.

Back in September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data that showed how well the COVID-19 vaccines protected people from the coronavirus, including the delta variant.

  • The data — taken from April 4 to July 17 — show that unvaccinated people had five times higher chance of an infection from the coronavirus and a 10 times higher chance of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19, as I wrote for the Deseret News.