Vaccination against COVID-19 is considered to be one of the fastest vaccine researches that has ever happened. It was rolled out in India for health care workers from January, senior citizens from February, and for those above 45 years from March. Vaccines have had a significant impact on individuals. According to a study by Star Health and Allied Insurance, there was a marked reduction of approximately 24 per cent in COVID-led total hospitalisation expenses for those who had completed two doses of vaccine. The expenses for individuals with co-morbidities, who needed a stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) also fell by 15 per cent in case of those who had taken the vaccine as against the unvaccinated population. The ICU requirement was also reduced from 9.4 per cent in case of unvaccinated individuals to 5 per cent for vaccinated ones.
The study surveyed customers of Star Health and Allied Insurance Company who were admitted for COVID-19 treatment in 1,104 hospitals across the country. The study was conducted during the second wave (March and April 2021) and considered a sample size of 3,820 hospitalised patients from across India who were 45 years and above.
“Our study covered pan India data of the patients affected by COVID-19. The aim was to assess the medical and financial implications of vaccination. Our study concluded that the ones who had taken the vaccination had a clear advantage over the non-vaccinated as we witnessed a significant difference in parameters like hospital stay, cost of treatment and death due to infection,” says Dr. Madhumathi Ramakrishnan, Joint Vice President Star Health and Allied Insurance.
As per the study, the average cost of hospitalisation of the unvaccinated group was Rs 2.77 lakh while the vaccinated group recorded an average cost of Rs 2.1 lakh. The reduction in cost was due to factors like reduced need of ICU requirement and reduction in the length of hospital stay from an average of 7 days among unvaccinated to an average of 4.9 days for the vaccinated group.
Those who had completed two doses of vaccine, saw a reduction in the average length of stay (ALOS) by a mean of 2.1 days, ICU requirement by 66 per cent and a reduction of approximately 81 per cent in mortality, says the study.
In the wake of COVID-19, most of the studies conducted so far have reported an impact of vaccination among the common public while Star Health Insurance’s cohort study gives exclusivity to patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The main purpose of this study has not only been to understand the medical benefit but also financial implications.
Conducted and concluded during the early stages of vaccination drive, the study noted that nearly 86 per cent among those surveyed had not taken the vaccination and among these 43 per cent did not have any valid reason for not taking the jab.
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