ATLANTA - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Georgia has vaccinations to thank, at least in part, for preventing thousands of COVID-19 infections and hundreds of deaths among seniors.
A report from HHS shows that COVID-19 vaccinations may have helped prevent roughly 5,100 new COVID-19 infections and 700 deaths among seniors in Georgia from January through May of 2021.
The study looked at the vaccine's effect on Medicare beneficiaries and found it is linked to preventing approximately 265,000 COVID-19 infections, 107,000 hospitalizations and 39,000 deaths nationwide.
"This report reaffirms what we hear routinely from states: COVID-19 vaccines save lives, prevent hospitalizations, and reduce infection," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "The Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized getting vaccines quickly to pharmacies, nursing homes, doctors’ offices and even provided increased reimbursement rates for at-home COVID-19 vaccinations so that seniors and others can easily get vaccinated."
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services notified Medicare beneficiaries in September that all COVID-19 vaccines, including the authorized boosters, will be covered without cost-sharing.
Nationally, the study found a decrease between 11% and 12% in weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths among Medicare beneficiaries for every 10% increase in a county's vaccination rate.
To date, Georgia has recorded 22,785 deaths and 81,626 hospitalizations related to COVID-19 cases. The Georgia Department of Public Health reports a seven-day moving average of 99.9 confirmed deaths on Oct. 2.