LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – New research shows the COVID-19 vaccine has saved the U.S. economy nearly $500 billion.

In a new study by Heartland Forward, experts say the quick development and fast deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine lessened the impact of the virus on our economy.

When the world shut down last year to avoid a widespread virus, the economy took quite a hit.  

“Globally, you’re talking probably trillions of dollars of loss,” said Jeff Cooperstein, an economist at the University of Arkansas.

But then the COVID-19 vaccine turned things around. At least that’s according to researchers at Heartland Forward.

“So, we saved versus what we would have lost,” Cooperstein said.

Experts say because of the vaccine, we saw an estimated economic savings of $438 billion in terms of 2021 real GDP gain.

“That means that they’re estimating that without the vaccine, the economy would have produced 438 billion dollars less than what it is actually going to produce,” Cooperstein said.

Cooperstein said GDP is measured by consumer spending, investment spending, net exports, and government purchases.

As more people got vaccinated, Cooperstein said, they were able to go back to work, go back to shopping, and go back to participating in the economy.

Cooperstein says the vaccine kept more people from dying or getting too sick to not work.

“So, you’ve got a lot of productivity losses that didn’t happen because of the vaccines,” he said.

The economist adds the more people get vaccinated, the more money the economy can save as things get back to normal.

“As we move toward herd immunity, if we can get there, then people will actually be safer and they’ll also feel safer,” Cooperstein said.

Researchers say these savings are possible because of our country’s public-private partnership between the government and the biopharmaceutical industry.

They say legislators should push for more of these types of partnerships, as long as they’re regulated with caution.

To read the full Heartland Forward report, click Here.