Associations Between County-Level Vaccination Rates and COVID-19 Outcomes Among Medicare Beneficiaries [open pdf - 979KB]
From the Key Points: " COVID-19 [Coronavirus Disease 2019] vaccines are a key component in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical data show vaccines are highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infections and severe outcomes including hospitalization and death.  In this analysis of individual-level health data and county-level vaccination rates, we find that higher county vaccination rates were associated with significant reductions in the odds of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death among Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries between January and May 2021.  Comparing the rates of these outcomes to what our model predicts would have happened without any vaccinations, we estimate COVID-19 vaccinations were linked to estimated reductions of approximately 107,000 infections, 43,000 hospitalizations, and 16,000 deaths in our study sample of 25.3 million beneficiaries. These estimates correspond to estimated reductions of approximately 265,000 infections, 107,000 hospitalizations, and 39,000 deaths for the full Medicare population of 62.7 million people.  After accounting for the potential underreporting of COVID-19 deaths in Medicare FFS claims data, and considering alternative models, the number of deaths prevented among the full Medicare population could plausibly range from 12,000 to 49,000 deaths.  Reductions in cumulative weekly deaths were found nationally, for all racial and ethnic groups, and across all 48 states included in our sample.  The difference in vaccination rates for those age 65 and older between the lowest (34%) and highest (85%) counties and states by the end of May highlights the continued opportunity to leverage COVID-19 vaccinations to prevent COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths."
ASPE, Research Report HP-2021-23; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Research Report Health Policy-2021-23
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation: https://aspe.hhs.gov/