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Study: 1/3 of deaths preventable with vaccine

  • Jacqueline Coll gives the COVID-19 vaccine to Donna Infante as part of the first round of vaccinations for frontline health care workers at Monadnock Community Hospital Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Published: 5/19/2022 11:28:43 AM
Modified: 5/19/2022 11:26:58 AM

At least 2,500 people have died from COVID in New Hampshire. New research from the School of Public Health at Brown University and Microsoft AI Health suggests over 900 of those lives could have been saved if more people had been vaccinated.

Martha Wassell, director infection prevention for Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, has had a hard time wrapping her head around those findings.

“Prevention is my job and is what I am passionate about,” she said. “Knowing that there were so many individuals that didn’t take advantage of this science and lost their lives as a result is sad.”

When adjusting for population, the researchers found that New Hampshire had fewer preventable deaths than most other states. About 79 percent of adults are fully vaccinated in New Hampshire, according to the CDC. Nationwide, that figure is about 76 percent.

In their analysis, researchers noted that since vaccines became available, 91 percent who died from the virus were unvaccinated.

“Patients who were landing in our critical care unit,” Wassell said “requiring mechanical ventilation, or losing their lives, undoubtedly were those who were unvaccinated.”


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