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Associations Between County-level Vaccination Rates and COVID-19 Outcomes Among Medicare Beneficiaries

Publication Date
Oct 5, 2021
Authors
Lok Wong Samson, Wafa Tarazi, E. John Orav, Steven Sheingold, Nancy De Lew, and Benjamin D. Sommers

The purpose of this study is to identify associations between COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths among Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries and the proportion of the population fully vaccinated at the county-level between January and May 2021. We do so by using a combination of person-level Medicare FFS claims and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data on county-level vaccination rates. Based on these results, we then estimated the net reduction in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths among all 62.7 million Medicare beneficiaries associated with the first 5 months of the U.S.’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Our results indicate that COVID-19 vaccinations from January until May 2021 were associated with an estimated reduction of more than 265,000 COVID-19 infections and nearly 39,000 deaths among Medicare beneficiaries.

*This content is in the process of Section 508 review. If you need immediate assistance accessing this content, please submit a request to Wafa Tarazi, (202) 260-1809, Wafa.Tarazi@hhs.gov. Content will be updated pending the outcome of the Section 508 review.

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