Unvaccinated COVID-19 hospitalizations cost the U.S. billions of dollars

Aug. 24, 2021

In June and July 2021, COVID-19 hospitalizations among unvaccinated adults cost the U.S. healthcare system more than $2 billion, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

That figure was based on KFF’s estimates that more than 100,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations in June and July 2021 could have been prevented by vaccination. The foundation estimated the average cost of a hospital stay for a patient with COVID-19 at $20,000.

Even so, the figure likely underestimates the true cost of caring for unvaccinated patients diagnosed with COVID-19, KFF noted. For example, the researchers did not include the costs of outpatient treatments.

As of early August 2021, 28% of adults over the age of 18 in the U.S. remain unvaccinated for COVID-19, KFF said. 

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