More than 22,000 lives could have been spared in Texas and Florida, states where governors have spoken out against mask and vaccine mandates, if they had vaccinated three-quarters of their adult populations.
If 74% of Texans and Floridians had been vaccinated by the end of August, they could have collectively had 95,000 fewer hospitalizations and 22,000 fewer deaths, a study published Oct. 8 in the scientific journal Lancet found. If this rate had been reached by the end of July, as in Massachusetts and Connecticut, Texas and Florida could have seen 650,000 fewer hospitalizations each. The two states had vaccinated less than 60% of their adult population by the time the study was conducted.
The study also concluded that if vaccination rates accelerate daily by 50%, more than 26,000 cases and 1,200 deaths can be prevented in both states by Oct. 31.
On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott blocked vaccine mandates as major Texas-based companies like American Airlines Group Inc. and AT&T Inc. roll out requirements. The decision goes against federal guidance. On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling all companies with more than 100 workers to require vaccines or weekly testing once the Occupational Safety and Health Administration creates formal rules.