Research suggests COVID-19 vaccination significantly mitigated the death toll among older adults in NSW.

The study, using sophisticated computer simulations, estimates that the vaccination efforts saved 17,760 lives among NSW residents aged 50 and over, before the emergence of the Omicron variant in 2021.

The study predicted COVID-19 death rates under three different scenarios: no vaccination, partial vaccination through the booster campaign, and a hypothetical complete vaccination before the key date of July 28, 2021. 

In the ‘no vaccination’ scenario, the simulation projected that without any vaccination, NSW could have witnessed six times the actual death count. 

In the second scenario, the rollout of booster vaccinations was found to have played a crucial role, preventing an estimated 1,860 deaths.

Had complete vaccination been achieved by July 28, 2021, the model suggests an additional 440 deaths could have been prevented. 

The study analysed state and federal health department data to assess the death rates among the over-50s in NSW. 

By mid-2022, NSW recorded a total COVID-19 death toll of 2,433 by April of that year, with approximately 82 per cent of deaths occurring post-January 2022 during the peak of the Omicron wave.

Experts say the study shows the critical timing of the vaccination rollout.

The comprehensive study is also expected to serve as a crucial resource for planning future public health responses. 

More details are accessible here.