KEY POINTS
  • Two doses of Covid vaccine prevented at least 330,000 deaths and nearly 700,000 hospitalizations among adult Medicare recipients in 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services said.
  • The overwhelming majority of Medicare recipients, 86%, are 65 and older. The elderly face the highest risk of severe disease and death from Covid.
  • The U.S. has rolled out new booster shots that target the dominant omicron BA.5 subvariant, and health officials believe the new booster will provide stronger protection this fall and winter.
A patient receives a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot at a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination clinic in Southfield, Michigan, on Sept. 29, 2021.

Covid vaccines prevented at least 330,000 deaths and nearly 700,000 hospitalizations among adult Medicare recipients in 2021, the Health and Human Services Department said in a new report published Friday.

The reduction in hospitalizations due to vaccination saved more than $16 billion in medical costs, according to the HHS report. A 10% increase in vaccination coverage was associated with a 12% and 15% decline in the chances of hospitalization and death, respectively, among adult Medicare recipients, according to the study.