The consequences of forgoing a COVID-19 vaccine are dire. The unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die from the virus and 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Then there’s the economic cost.
A new analysis released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the price tag associated with the hospital treatment of the unvaccinated was $5.7 billion over the three month period from June to August.
Almost all COVID-19 care is covered by the government or private insurance companies, so the unvaccinated are largely shielded from the direct economic costs of their treatment.
“These COVID-19 hospitalizations are devastating for patients, their families, and health care providers. The hospitalizations are also costing taxpayer-funded public insurance programs and the workers and businesses paying health insurance premiums,” explains the analysis.
Researchers with the Kaiser Family Foundation culled data from the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services to determine that 287,000 unvaccinated Americans were hospitalized from June to August. Their average hospital stay cost approximately $20,000, according to Kaiser, but that doesn’t include outpatient treatment.
Nor does the cumulative figure – $5.7 billion – account for inoculated Americans infected by the unvaccinated.
The analysis underscores additional consequences of lagging vaccine rates, including delayed re-openings of schools, strained hospitals, and a precarious economy.