Vials of Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine set pictured in Jerusalem on January 3, 2022. Israel was the first in the world to administer the fourth COVID-19 vaccination for people over 60 and health workers. A U.S. study published Friday found the vaccines averted 2.2 million American deaths. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo
April 8 (UPI) -- A new study published Friday found COVID-19 vaccinations have prevented 2.2 million deaths in the United States.
The Commonwealth Fund study said 17 million hospitalizations were averted by the vaccines between December 12, 2020, and March 31, 2022.
More than $899 billion was saved in healthcare costs due to the vaccines, according to the Commonwealth Fund study.
The study found there would have been 66 million more COVID-19 infections without the vaccinations.
The White House pointed to the study to criticize Republicans for holding up "critical funding we need to make more progress -- to save even more lives."
A White House statement Friday said, "Inaction will leave our nation less prepared for any future surges and variants." The White House statement said Congress must act with urgency to continue funding government anti-COVID-19 efforts.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Bloomberg TV's David Westin he expects an uptick in COVID-19 cases over the next couple of weeks. Fauci said a surge in the fall is likely.
According to the Commonwealth Fund study, the daily pre-Omicron peaks of death would have reached 24,000 a day in the absence of the vaccines.
The study said the actual high peak of daily deaths was 4,300 per day reached during the winter of 2021.
"Our findings highlight the profound and ongoing impact of the vaccination program in reducing infections, hospitalizations, and deaths," the study said.
The study said the numbers reported are adjusted to "reflect the range of normal uncertainty associated with estimates."
Even as pandemic restrictions are relaxed, there are still hundreds of COVID-19 deaths reported each day in the United States. Cases have also started to rise again in several parts of the United States, the study said.