A medical worker holds a vial of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy of Truman Medical Centers/University Health)
State Auditor Rob Sand urged Iowans to be vaccinated Wednesday, citing billions of dollars spent for COVID-19 hospitalizations nationwide.
“We are all paying for these preventable hospitalizations, whether it be in the form of premiums to private insurers or costs to taxpayer-funded public programs,” Sand said in a news release. “Please don’t add to others’ expenses: get the vaccine. Most importantly, it saves lives, but it also saves money.”
A report by the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation found that “preventable” COVID-19 hospitalizations cost the U.S. $2.3 billion in June and July of 2021. Preventable infections are those that occurred in unvaccinated people, where COVID-19 was the primary diagnosis.
The study found that the average cost of a COVID-19 hospitalization in the U.S. was $20,000. The State Auditor Office is not collecting Iowa-specific data on COVID-19 costs.
Sand was unsure how the August surge of the delta variant would affect the data, but noted that longer hospitalizations would be more expensive. Iowa saw an increase of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the past month.
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