$70 billion in US healthcare costs saved by Pfizer vaccine rollout

healthcare costs, pfizer vaccine

The Pfizer vaccine saved up to $40 billion in healthcare costs and over 110,000 lives, in just one year of being rolled out to the US population

In just the first year of rolling out the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, it has been estimated that over 8.7 million symptomatic cases of the virus, $70 billion in healthcare costs, and more than 110,000 deaths were prevented.

Despite much controversy and vaccine hesitancy seen across the US, results show the vaccines work not only for health and safety against coronavirus, but also for the economy.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first ever COVID-19 vaccine to become available in the US and, according to estimates from the US public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control was given to almost six in ten citizens who were fully vaccinated in 2021.

Published in the Journal of Medical Economics, the Pfizer vaccine has been credited with saving over $30 billion in healthcare costs and over $40 billion in lost productivity.

690,000 hospitalisations were averted by Pfizer vaccinations in just the US

The researchers used a real-world model and trial data to estimate how many symptomatic COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths would have occurred that year if the vaccine had not been available – they also estimated how much these cases would have cost the healthcare system and the wider economy.

Data fed into the model included information on the numbers vaccinated, the efficacy of the vaccine in different age groups, as well as the probability of catching COVID-19, developing symptoms and being hospitalised.

They also considered the effects of long COVID, such as the number of working days likely to have been lost due to short-term illness and the economic cost of premature deaths.

Calculating the economic cost of COVID-19 and vaccine contributions

Overall, the results showed that vaccines had health benefits for millions of people, and an estimated $30.4 billion of savings in healthcare costs, with. A $43.7 billion of savings in productivity losses.

Researcher Manuela Di Fusco, of Pfizer’s health economics and outcomes research team, said: “The analyses show that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine contributed substantial public health impact in the US in 2021, and had a deep effect on the trajectory of the pandemic.

“It was estimated to prevent millions of COVID-19 symptomatic cases, thousands of hospitalisations and deaths, and generated billions in societal economic value in the US in 2021.”

She also explained that the results “highlight the opportunity to continue widespread vaccination uptake to prevent COVID-19 related disease and generate societal benefits”.


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