Vaccination averted 42 lakh Covid deaths in India: Lancet
New Delhi, June 24
Covid vaccination has substantially altered the course of the pandemic, saving tens of millions of lives globally, and averting 42 lakh potential deaths in India alone, a modelling study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal has found.
Based on official reported Covid deaths, the modellers estimated that vaccination prevented 14.4 million deaths from Covid in 185 countries and territories between December 8, 2020, and December 8, 2021.
The saving of more than 19 million lives by the unprecedented rapidity of development and roll out of vaccines is an extraordinary global health feat. —Prof Alison Galvani, Yale university school of public health, us
“This estimate rose to 19.8 million deaths from Covid averted when we used excess deaths as an estimate of the true extent of the pandemic, representing a global reduction of 63 per cent in total deaths (19.8 million of 31.4 million) during the first year of Covid vaccination,” the researchers said.
In Covax Advance Market Commitment countries, they estimated that 41 per cent of excess mortality (7.4 million of 17.9 million deaths) was averted. Nearly 92 low- and middle-income economies are eligible to have their participation in the Covax facility supported by the Covax AMC (Advance Market Commitment).
These include low-income Afghanistan, among others, and lower middle income nations, including India, Angola, Algeria and Bolivia, among others.
“In low-income countries, we estimated that an additional 45 per cent of deaths could have been averted had the 20 per cent vaccination coverage target set by Covax been met by each country, and that an additional 111 per cent of deaths could have been averted had the 40 per cent target set by WHO been met by each country by the end of 2021,” modelers said.
“For India, we estimate that 42,10,000 (more than 42 lakh) deaths were prevented by vaccination in this period. This is our central estimate, with the uncertainty in this estimate ranging between 36,65,000-43,70,000 (over 36.6 lakh to 43.7 lakh),” said lead author of the study, Oliver Watson from the Imperial College London, the UK
The study flagged inadequate access to vaccines in low-income countries which had limited the impact in these settings, reinforcing the need for global vaccine equity and coverage.
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