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The costs of hospitalization for COVID-19 are 150 times more than vaccination.
How much economic value can the widespread promotion of COVID-19 vaccination generate? A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that the cost of hospitalization for COVID-19 pneumonia is 150 times different from the cost of vaccination.
U.S. residents will not be charged for the COVID-19 pneumonia vaccination, and these costs are borne by the medical insurance system. The cost per dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine is US$40, and the various costs incurred during vaccination averaged to US$35 per dose. So, the cost of fully vaccinating each person is about $150.
In contrast, each medical insurance beneficiary spent US$21,752 in hospitalization for severe COVID-19 pneumonia, and the average length of hospitalization was 9.2 days. The difference between the two costs was 145 times. If the patient is treated with a ventilator, the cost of hospitalization will be doubled. Patients need to stay in the hospital for an average of 17.1 days, and the cost reaches 49,441 US dollars, a difference of more than 300 times.
The average cost per outpatient visit for patients with symptoms of infection but not hospitalized is US$164, and the average number of outpatient visits is 3.2. This cost is also higher than vaccination.
Affected by the delta mutant virus, the number of hospitalizations in the United States has increased rapidly since the summer. According to data from the Caesars Foundation, between June and July, among unvaccinated adult hospitalizations, more than 100,000 cases could have been effectively prevented by vaccination. If each person spends US$20,000, then the national health system will have to spend an additional US$2 billion for hospitalized patients.
In fact, 26,000 of these patients are intensive care patients. At the same time, the above cost estimates only take into account the cost of hospitalization, but do not take into account the patient’s expenditure in other medical institutions and the loss of long-term sequelae. It can be seen that the total expenditure is much higher.
The cost varies greatly, but the current vaccination situation in the United States is not optimistic. According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 53% of Americans are fully vaccinated, while 27% of eligible residents over the age of 12 have not been vaccinated. The average vaccination dose in the last 7 days was 19% lower than last week and 30% lower than one month ago.
American surgeon Dr. Vivek Murthy emphasized that widespread vaccination is the key to ending the epidemic. The new coronavirus, especially the delta mutant strain, is completely different from other respiratory viruses. Other viral infections do not have such a serious hospitalization risk and rarely bring life costs. No matter from the perspective of safety or hospitalization costs, the COVID-19 virus should receive further attention.
1. Annals of Internal Medicine
Patient Characteristics and Costs Associated With COVID-19–Related Medical Care Among Medicare Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries
An average Covid-19 hospitalization costs Medicare about 150 times more than it does to vaccinate one beneficiary
(source:internet, reference only)