A study published in The Lancet said that COVID-19 vaccines are estimated to prevent 20 million deaths worldwide in the first year of vaccine rollout.
It said the vaccines reduced potential global mortality during the pandemic by more than half in the year following their implementation.
Claimed as the first modeling study to measure the impact of COVID-19 vaccines globally, it was estimated that 19.8 million (1.98 crore) out of a possible 31.4 million (3.14 crore) deaths would have occurred after the introduction of vaccines. The latter was stopped in the first year. , The time period is from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021.
According to the study, which is based on data from 185 countries and territories, high- and upper-middle income countries prevented the most deaths, highlighting inequalities in access to vaccines around the world.
It said that another 599,300 deaths could have been avoided if the World Health Organization’s target of immunizing 40% of the population in every country by the end of 2021 had been met.
“If the targets set by WHO had been achieved, we estimate that an estimated 1 in 5 lives due to COVID-19 in low-income countries could have been prevented,” it said.
It is claimed to be the first study to assess direct and indirect deaths as a result of COVID-19 vaccination, using COVID-19 death records and total additional deaths from each country (or estimated Official data was not available).
“Our findings provide the most complete assessment to date of the remarkable global impact of vaccination on the COVID-19 pandemic,” said study lead author Dr Oliver Watson, from Imperial College London.
“An estimated 20 million deaths were prevented in the first year after vaccination, with approximately 7.5 million deaths prevented in countries covered by the COVID-19 Vaccine Access Initiative (COVAX).”
Vaccines saved millions of lives
The team of researchers, statisticians and mathematicians found that based on officially recorded COVID-19 deaths, an estimated 18.1 million deaths would have occurred during the study period if vaccination had not been implemented.
Of these, the model estimates that vaccination has prevented 14.4 million deaths, representing a reduction of 79% globally.
These findings do not account for the under-reporting of COVID-19 deaths, which is common in low-income countries.
Meanwhile, the team did another analysis based on the total additional deaths during the same time period. They found that COVID-19 vaccination prevented an estimated 19.8 million deaths out of a total of 31.4 million possible deaths that would have occurred without vaccination, a 63% reduction.
How was the study done?
Despite the incredible pace of vaccine roll-out around the world, there have been over 3.5 million COVID-19 deaths since the first vaccine was introduced in December 2020.
Several studies have sought to estimate the impact of vaccination during pandemics. These studies have focused on specific regions, such as individual countries, states, or cities.
However, the latest study is the first to estimate the impact of COVID-19 vaccination globally and the first to assess the number of direct and indirect deaths.
To estimate the impact of global immunization programmes, the press release said, the researchers used an established model of COVID-19 transmission using country-level data for officially recorded COVID-19 deaths. . However, China was not included in the analysis due to its large population and very strict lockdown measures, which (the study said) would skew the findings.
“For under-reporting of deaths in countries with weak surveillance systems, they conducted a separate analysis based on the number of recorded deaths higher than expected during the same time period.”
Where official figures were not available, the team used estimates of all-cause mortality. These analyzes were compared to an alternative hypothetical scenario in which no vaccine was given.
The model accounted for variations in vaccination rates between countries, as well as differences in vaccine efficacy in each country based on the types of vaccines used primarily in those regions.
Read all the latest news, breaking news, watch top videos and watch Live TV right here.