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The power of vaccination

A large modeling study published in the Lancet Infectious diseases based on data from 185 countries and territories collected from December of 2020 to 2021 has come to the conclusion that COVID vaccines prevented nearly 20 million deaths in the first year after they were introduced.

The first attempt to estimate the number of deaths prevented directly and indirectly as a result of COVID-19 vaccinations found that 19.8 million deaths were prevented out of a potential 31.4 million deaths that would have occurred if no vaccines were available.

High and middle-income countries accounted for the largest number of deaths averted, 12.2 million out of the 19.8 million, reflecting inequalities in access to vaccines worldwide. Nearly 600,000 additional deaths could have been prevented if the World Health Organization’s goal of vaccinating 40 percent of each country’s population by the end of 2021 had been met, it added.

COVID has officially killed more than 6.3 million people globally, according to the WHO. It however admitted last month that the real number could be as high as 15 million after all direct and indirect cases are accounted for. Authorities around the world have also been suspected of downplaying the number of COVID deaths as an accurate count could reflect badly on their handling of the crisis.

The pandemic is not yet over, and herd immunity remains a challenge for many countries whose vaccination programs have stalled before targets could be reached. The effort to end the COVID-19 pandemic will depend on the effectivity of vaccination, which while already proven to have saved lives, still remains a difficult sell for the rest of the population who would rather brave the higher risks of being unvaccinated.

COVID-19 cases are currently rising at the National Capital Region. If the rest of the country doesn’t want Alert Levels to rise, vaccination rates must continue to improve until the targets are reached. That way more people are protected, infections are reduced, and deaths prevented, as long as our modern world continues to use the advancements we have made in science to protect humankind and restore our lives and livelihood that have been disrupted by the coronavirus.*

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December 2022
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