The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new report suggesting that COVID-19 vaccination may have not only helped reduce hundreds of thousands of new SARS-CoV-2 infections but also avoid tens of thousands of deaths among the vulnerable senior demographic cohort. In a real-world study conducted by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the study team reports that vaccines reduced about 265,000 infections, 107,000 hospitalizations, as well as 39,000 deaths among Medicare beneficiaries from January to May 2021.
This data follows the recent directive issued by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra authorizing all CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program providers to make available and administer Pfizer-BioNTech booster doses to those eligible—such as seniors over age 65. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) reminded Medicare beneficiaries that all COVID-19 vaccines, including the authorized booster, are covered less than the standard Medicare cost-sharing.
Reductions in hospitalization, infections, and deaths across the board included racial and ethnic groups, with American Indian and Alaska Native Medicare beneficiaries experienci...
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