The burden of respiratory diseases in the US has increased over threefold compared to pre-pandemic levels, as COVID continues to take a heavy toll on hospitals.
New modeling by Airfinity estimates the rollout of next-generation vaccines could reduce the number of hospitalizations by 35%. It estimates that total hospitalizations will reach 1.15 million this winter season, up from 315,000 in 2018/19.
Vaccines to reduce hospitalizations
The rollout of new, highly efficacious, next-generation vaccines — including combination and universal vaccines — could reduce hospitalizations by 400,000. New vaccines could start to make an impact from the 2024/25 season. The most advanced vaccines in the pipeline are Pfizer/BioNTech’s mRNA BNT-161 and Moderna’s mRNA-1010, both of which will reach primary completion by March 2024.
Encouraging vaccine uptake
Dr Louise Blair, Senior Director of Analysis and Insights at Airfinity, says: “Next-generation vaccines could help reverse falling COVID-19 uptake rates. Across nearly all G7 nations, uptake of COVID-19 jabs has declined sharply since they were rolled out. Conversely, influenza vaccine uptake remains stable and, on average, is higher than COVID-19 uptake. New vaccines could change this and help reduce pressure on hospitals.”