New Paper Finds College Vaccine Mandates Saved Lives

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A new working paper that aims to calculate the effects of COVID-19 vaccine mandates at colleges estimates that they reduced death rates in fall 2021, saving 7,319 lives.

The working paper, released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that vaccine mandates at colleges reduced deaths from coronavirus by an estimated 5 percent. Researchers from Miami University in Ohio, Michigan State University, Tulane University and Cornell University co-authored the paper that looked at how vaccine mandates mitigated death rates.

The authors used data on vaccine mandates compiled by the College Crisis Initiative to identify universities with such requirements and “how they affected community-level transmission, hospitalizations, and deaths,” co-author Riley Acton of Miami University explained on Twitter.

Researchers examined coronavirus vaccine mandates at nearly 700 colleges in the U.S.

“The results? Per 100,000 residents, counties with mandates experienced 339 fewer cases & 5.4 fewer deaths over the first 13 weeks of the fall 2021 semester. Combined, this reduction [in] death is equal to about 5% of U.S. deaths nationally in fall 2021,” Acton tweeted Monday.

The benefits extended beyond campus and into the community. Since healthy college students were at low risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19, “the reduction in deaths almost all come from the surrounding community,” paper co-author Scott Imberman of Michigan State explained in a video.



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