In better vaccinated communities, a large US study published byThe BMJtoday found that fewer people died from covid-19.
Based on data from 2,558 counties in 48 states in the United States, these findings show that counties with high vaccination coverage had a more than 80% decrease in death rates than counties with large unvaccinated populations.
This substantial benefit complements the growing volume of evidence demonstrating individual level benefits of covid-19 vaccination. A linked editorial argues that instilling information about vaccination saves lives.
Over 11 billion covid-19 vaccination doses have been administered globally since the 11 April 2022 epidemic. World Health Organisations promise to vaccinate 70% of the world''s population by the end of 2022.
While previous vaccine studies have shown benefits at the individual level, the effect of increased covid-19 vaccination on the entire population remains widespread unknown.
Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have decided to investigate how increasing the coverage of vaccines affected population mortality and the incidence of covid-19.
Their findings are based on over 30 million cases of covid-19 and over 400,000 fatalities linked to covid-19 in 2558 districts, which were reported during the second year of the epidemic, between December 2020 and December 2021.
Covid-19 incidence and mortality rates have been calculated by comparison, according to reports of a comparison, with very low (0-9%), low (10-39%), medium (40-69%) and a high (70% or greater) vaccination coverage. Adults (aged 18 and older) who received at least one dose of the covid-19 vaccination have been also excluded.
Researchers explored how increasing immunization in areas was linked to reduced rates of covid-19 mortality and cases.
In areas with very limited vaccination coverage, for example, the covid-19 mortality rate was reduced by 60%, 75 percent, and 81% in the first half of 2021, compared to those in counties with very little vaccination coverage.
The appropriate figures for the reduction in cases were 57%, 70%, and 80%.
During the second half of 2021, similar mortality reductions were observed, although the delta variation would have a greater impact on case levels.
This is a research that is objective, and it can''t establish the cause, and experts argue that several limitations should be considered when interpreting these findings. For example, additional markers of severe disease, such as hospital admissions, were not explored, and they did not control for factors such as rules on wearing a face mask, and physical distancing at the time, which may have impacted their findings.
Despite further sensitivity tests, they argue that future research might benefit from further research to improve population health, including changes in employment rates and gross domestic product resulting from the reopening of society.
In a linked issue, Professor Christopher Dye at the University of Oxford discusses the possibility that vaccination can halt infection and illness on a large scale.
Despite diminishing immunity and new coronavirus variants, these findings also reveal that many more lives may have been saved and will be saved, by encouraging people to keep up with vaccinations and increasing population coverage.
It''s important to others to investigate how many lives they have to offer. Despite this, he concludes, this research is another confidence booster for covid-19 vaccinations.