COVID-19 vaccinations may have stopped roughly 16,000 new COVID-19 infections, 6,700 hospitalizations and 2,700 deaths among seniors in New York, a new report shows.

The report, released by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), follows a study conducted by researchers with HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said the Biden-Harris Administration had prioritized getting vaccines quickly to pharmacies, nursing homes and doctors’ offices, and had provided increased reimbursement rates for at-home COVID-19 vaccinations, so that seniors and others can easily get vaccinated.

“This report reaffirms what we hear routinely from states: COVID-19 vaccines save lives, prevent hospitalizations, and reduce infection,” he said.

The study also found that nationally, vaccinations were linked to a reduction of approximately 265,000 COVID-19 infections, 107,000 hospitalizations, and 39,000 deaths among Medicare beneficiaries between January and May 2021.

All racial and ethnic groups and all 48 states analyzed experienced reduced numbers of COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations and infections, linked to vaccination rate increases, the report says. The study also found that vaccines were linked to a reduction of about 5,600 deaths among nursing home Medicare beneficiaries, a group that was disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Of the more than 352,000 lives lost during the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 80% of were among people 65 and older who were also Medicare eligible.

From January to May 2021, when vaccination grew from 1% to 47% among adults 18 to 64 and from 1% to 80% among seniors, the study found an 11-12% decrease in weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths among Medicare beneficiaries for every 10% increase in county vaccination rates, the report showed.

In a press release, HHS said the report underscored why it was “critically important to get all eligible individuals living in the United States vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Anna Bradley-Smith

Anna Bradley-Smith is Brooklyn-based reporter with bylines in NBC, VICE, Slate and others. Follow her on Twitter @annabradsmith.

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