nurse standing by patient in hospital bed The cost of treating unvaccinated Americans is shared by patients, taxpayer-funded public programs and private insurance premiums. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Nearly three in 10 adults in the United States have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. Although the toll on public health has been well-documented, increased hospitalizations also are also costing taxpayer-funded public insurance programs and workers and businesses who pay health insurance premiums.

Although real-time data on the cost of all COVID-19 hospitalizations are not publicly available, various sources point to an average hospitalization cost of around $20,000. There were 37,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations in June and another 76,000 preventable hospitalizations in July among unvaccinated adults in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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