Study shows global impact of vaccines with 20 million deaths prevented worldwide
In a groundbreaking study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, it has been revealed that COVID-19 vaccines have played a crucial role in preventing over 42 lakh potential deaths in India during the year 2021. The study, which based its findings on estimates of “excess” mortalities during the pandemic, highlights the significant impact of vaccination campaigns in saving lives.
According to the study, COVID-19 vaccines have had a global impact, reducing the potential death toll by nearly 20 million worldwide. In the first year of the vaccination program, an estimated 19.8 million out of a potential 31.4 million COVID-19 deaths were prevented globally. These estimates are based on excess deaths recorded from 185 countries and territories, providing a comprehensive analysis of the pandemic’s impact.
For India, the study estimates that vaccination prevented 42.1 lakh deaths during the analyzed period. The lead author of the study, Oliver Watson from the Imperial College London, stated that the vaccination campaign in India has saved millions of lives, demonstrating the remarkable impact of vaccines, particularly in the face of the Delta variant.
However, the study also highlights the discrepancies in reported COVID-19 deaths, indicating that the official figure of 5.24 lakh deaths in India may be significantly lower than the actual number. Independent estimates suggest that the number of deaths may be ten times higher, with 51.6 lakh deaths potentially occurring during the pandemic.
The study further emphasizes the importance of achieving global vaccination targets. It estimates that an additional 5,99,300 lives could have been saved if the World Health Organization’s target of vaccinating 40 percent of the population in each country had been met by the end of 2021.
The findings of this study underscore the critical role of vaccines in reducing COVID-19 deaths worldwide. The authors call for continued efforts to protect vulnerable populations and ensure widespread vaccination to combat the ongoing circulation of the virus. Vaccination not only directly protects individuals from severe symptoms but also indirectly reduces virus transmission and eases the burden on healthcare systems.
This study serves as a reminder that global cooperation and equity in vaccine distribution are essential in the fight against the pandemic. The incredible impact of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing millions of deaths reinforces the need for continued vigilance and immunization efforts worldwide.