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COVID-19 booster could prevent 90,000 deaths, analysis says

A new analysis about COVID-19 booster shots indicates that they could save many lives

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Registered nurse Seth Christensen is pictured filling a syringe with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Registered nurse Seth Christensen fills a syringe with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. Thousands of lives could be saved by getting a COVID-19 booster shot, a new analysis says.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Thousands of lives could be saved by getting a COVID-19 booster shot, a new analysis says. The analysis, coming from The Commonwealth Fund, estimates that if 80% of eligible people get their COVID-19 booster by Dec. 31, then nearly 90,000 lives could be saved, along with billions of dollars.

Here’s an overview of what the report says and where you can get a booster.

90,000 lives can be saved with a booster

The Commonwealth Fund released the report on Wednesday. The report indicates, “An even more successful (booster) campaign (scenario 2) would prevent approximately 90,000 deaths, more than 936,000 hospitalizations, and avert $56 billion in direct medical costs over the course of the next six months, compared with the baseline scenario.”

COVID-19 deaths are still occurring daily. According to CNN, there’s currently an average of almost 400 COVID-19 deaths each day. USA Today warned, “At the current pace of booster shot uptake, if there is a winter virus surge, that could bring a peak of 16,000 hospitalizations and 1,200 deaths per day by March.”

Even as deaths still occur, CNN reported that the U.S. vaccination rate has only reached 68%, and only half of the people who have received a vaccine have gotten a booster shot as well.

USA Today said that it’s possible that Americans can expect to get a COVID booster shot each year like one gets the flu vaccine.

How to get a COVID-19 booster

Many pharmacies and grocery stores are offering COVID-19 boosters. The CDC provides detailed information about eligibility. Anyone above the age of 12 who has completed their initial vaccines can receive a booster two month after the date of completed vaccinations.

The Coronavirus Utah government website shows local clinics that are offering booster shots. National retailers like CVS, Walgreens and Costco may also be offering booster shots in your local area.