New report: 1,400 Michigan seniors’ lives likely saved by COVID-19 vaccine – Detroit Free Press

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Indiana man wound up in hospital, wants everyone to get COVID vaccine

Mark Green, a COVID-19 patient regrets not getting vaccinated on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at Hancock Regional Hospital, Greenfield Ind.

Michelle Pemberton, Indianapolis Star

Coronavirus vaccines may have saved the lives of as many as 1,400 Michigan seniors during the first five months of the year, a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests.

The report, issued Tuesday, is based on a federal study of cases and deaths among Medicare beneficiaries from January to May. It found that as many as 8,500 coronavirus cases and 3,900 hospitalizations may have been prevented in Michigan’s oldest residents because of the vaccines. 

Nationally, the report shows, vaccinations likely prevented about 265,000 cases, 107,000 hospitalizations and 39,000 deaths among those older Americans. 

“This report reaffirms what we hear routinely from states: COVID-19 vaccines save lives, prevent hospitalizations and reduce infection,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a statement.  

Since the pandemic began, 21,139 Michiganders have died from the virus and more than a million people have been infected in the state.

The death toll has been highest among the oldest people in Michigan. More than 69% of the confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the state — 14,556 — have been among residents ages 70 and older, according to state health department data

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Since mid-December, when the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was first approved, that vulnerable population also has been among the most highly vaccinated. Nearly 80% of Michiganders ages 65-74 are fully vaccinated and about 77% of residents 75 and older are as well, state data show

That compares to an overall vaccination rate of about 52.7% among residents of all ages, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Contact Kristen Shamus: Follow her on Twitter @kristenshamus. 

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