New HHS report serves as testament to vaccine importance

Oct. 10, 2022

A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that the Biden Administration's historic vaccination program, which has gotten over 90 percent of seniors fully vaccinated and over 70 percent of seniors a booster shot, is linked to more than 650,000 fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations and more than 300,000 fewer deaths among seniors and other Americans enrolled in Medicare. The study, which was conducted by researchers with HHS's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), underscores the importance of Americans – particularly seniors and others at high-risk of serious outcomes – getting an updated COVID-19 vaccine this fall.

"This report reaffirms what we have said all along: COVID-19 vaccines save lives and prevent hospitalizations," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "We now have updated COVID vaccines designed to protect you against the Omicron strain of COVID that makes up almost all COVID cases in the U.S. The Biden-Harris Administration has ensured that updated vaccines are available at tens of thousands of locations nationwide. Over 90 percent of Americans live within 5 miles of where they can access these vaccines for free. I urge everyone eligible to get an updated COVID vaccine to protect yourself ahead of the fall and winter."

This report reflects the benefits that the COVID-19 vaccines have had on our seniors and our economy. In addition to the reductions in severe COVID-19 health outcomes, reductions in COVID-19 hospitalizations were associated with savings of more than $16 billion in direct medical costs.

All racial and ethnic groups and all 50 states experienced reduced numbers of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations linked to vaccination, highlighting the importance of achieving high levels of vaccinations in the US to save lives.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) authorized, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) recommended the use of an updated COVID-19 vaccine designed for the Omicron variant most prevalent in the U.S. Following the FDA and CDC action, Secretary Becerra issued a directive - PDF to ensure the updated vaccines are widely available. The Biden-Harris Administration has outlined plan to get Americans an updated COVID-⁠19 vaccine shot this Fall.

HHS release