COVID vaccines prevented nearly 20 million deaths, study says

A vial of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine is seen ready for use in the trial at St....
A vial of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine is seen ready for use in the trial at St. George's University hospital in London, Oct. 7, 2020. A new study said that vaccines made a big difference, preventing millions of additional deaths.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 5:49 AM MST
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(CNN) - COVID-19 vaccines saved 19.8 million lives in the first year they were available, according to a large-scale modeling study published in The Lancet on Friday.

The impact of the vaccination programs was determined by estimating the additional lives lost if no vaccines were available.

Based on officially reported COVID-19 cases, the study estimates that 14.4 million deaths were prevented by vaccines between Dec. 8, 2020, and Dec. 8, 2021.

That number rises to 19.8 million when using excess deaths as an estimate of the true extent of the pandemic, as opposed to reported case numbers, representing a 63% decrease in global COVID-19 deaths.

The study also asserts that up to 600,000 additional lives could have been saved if the World Health Organization’s goal of vaccinating 40% of each country’s eligible population by end of 2021 had been met.

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