Vaccinations versus Lockdowns to Prevent COVID-19 Mortality

Ronen Arbel, Joseph Pliskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Measures employed to combat COVID-19 included public lockdowns and vaccination campaigns. Israel’s extensive public health system produced data demonstrating the real-world results of these measures. Our objective was to evaluate the health and economic outcomes of the measures to cope with COVID-19. Publicly available datasets from the Israeli Ministry of Health were used to model the parameters of the pandemic in Israel. The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker was used for quantitative data on government policies. Data on the Israeli economy were taken from the Central Bureau of Statistics. Our models demonstrate that the first lockdown prevented 1022 COVID-19 deaths at the cost of 36.4–38.6 billion NIS. The second lockdown prevented 1970 COVID-19 deaths and cost 18–21 billion NIS. These lifesaving effects were observed with a time lag from the declaration of lockdown. The primary vaccination campaign cost 1 billion NIS and prevented 4750 COVID-19 deaths. The first vaccination booster campaign prevented 650 COVID-19 deaths and cost 51.1 million NIS. Therefore, the cost per prevented COVID-19 death is 10–36 million NIS with a national lockdown versus 210,000 NIS in the primary vaccination campaign and 79,000 NIS in the first booster campaign. In conclusion, both lockdowns and vaccination campaigns effectively lower COVID-19 deaths, but the cost to avoid one COVID-19 death with effective vaccination is 50–466 times lower than with a lockdown.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1347
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • COVID-19 vaccinations
  • lockdown
  • mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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