Lives and Costs Saved by Expanding and Expediting Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination

J Infect Dis. 2021 Sep 17;224(6):938-948. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiab233.


Background: With multiple coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines available, understanding the epidemiologic, clinical, and economic value of increasing coverage levels and expediting vaccination is important.

Methods: We developed a computational model (transmission and age-stratified clinical and economics outcome model) representing the United States population, COVID-19 coronavirus spread (February 2020-December 2022), and vaccination to determine the impact of increasing coverage and expediting time to achieve coverage.

Results: When achieving a given vaccination coverage in 270 days (70% vaccine efficacy), every 1% increase in coverage can avert an average of 876 800 (217 000-2 398 000) cases, varying with the number of people already vaccinated. For example, each 1% increase between 40% and 50% coverage can prevent 1.5 million cases, 56 240 hospitalizations, and 6660 deaths; gain 77 590 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs); and save $602.8 million in direct medical costs and $1.3 billion in productivity losses. Expediting to 180 days could save an additional 5.8 million cases, 215 790 hospitalizations, 26 370 deaths, 206 520 QALYs, $3.5 billion in direct medical costs, and $4.3 billion in productivity losses.

Conclusions: Our study quantifies the potential value of decreasing vaccine hesitancy and increasing vaccination coverage and how this value may decrease with the time it takes to achieve coverage, emphasizing the need to reach high coverage levels as soon as possible, especially before the fall/winter.

Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; coverage; rate; vaccination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / economics*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Humans
  • Models, Economic
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States
  • Vaccination / economics*
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data


  • COVID-19 Vaccines