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U.S. Vaccination Campaign Saved Over 250K Lives, According To Yale Study

Seth Wenig

More than a quarter of a million lives were saved by the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination campaign. That’s according to a study from the Yale School of Public Health.

Researchers looked at what would have happened if there’d been no vaccine at all — or if people got vaccines at only half the rate they were getting them during the spring, as the Alpha variant spread through the U.S.

Eric Schneider is with the Commonwealth Fund. The group worked on the study with the Yale School of Public Health.

“Had the Alpha variant really gotten through the population and vaccines hadn’t been there, there would have been a second wave almost bigger than the winter wave that we saw,” Schneider said.

Now, with the more contagious Delta variant resulting in increased hospitalizations and deaths, Schneider said vaccines are essential.

“The Delta variant is spreading very rapidly among people who are unvaccinated, so the fact that 30 to 40 percent of the population is still unvaccinated is fueling the spread of the Delta variant,” Schneider said.

Next, Schneider said researchers may look at how many lives the vaccines have saved in each state — since they know there’s a wide state-by-state variation on how many people are getting vaccinated.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.