Health

Majority of Covid deaths are now among vaccinated Americans for the first time

The majority of Americans dying from Covid are vaccinated for the first time ever.

An analysis of official data found that 58 per cent of Covid deaths in August were in people who were vaccinated or boosted.

Experts caution this is always expected because such a large majority of the population has received at least the standard two-dose regimen.

Those more likely to die from Covid, for example the elderly and immunosuppressed, are also more likely to be vaccinated, further skewing the ratio. 

But it is also true that as Covid has mutated, the vaccines have become less effective — with regular boosters required to top-up immunity.

For example, in September last year, 23 per cent of Covid deaths were in vaccinated people, and by February this year, this had risen to 42 per cent.

The elderly and other people at high risk of dying from Covid are also more likely to have had the shots compared to a young, healthy person. 

This makes the chance of a vaccinated person dying from the disease increasingly likely. 

Senior editor for the Dispatch David French said that the ‘absolute fury at those of us who supported Covid vaccines and continue to support Covid vaccines’ was ‘one of the saddest phenomena of the online right.’

He added: ‘The death toll of vaccine refusal is simply staggering and heartbreaking.

In November 2021, there were 32,328 deaths involving Covid.

In the first two weeks of November this year, there have been 7,047 deaths from Covid.

And at the peak of the Omicron wave in January this year, 83,880 deaths occurred involving Covid.

Some 267,476,279 Americans have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine as of November 16.

And 228,154,832 have completed their primary series of two shots.

Booster dose uptake is lagging, with 35,272,874 Americans over the age of five having received the bivalent jab.

According the analysis of CDC figures by the Kaiser Family Foundation commissioned by the Washington Post, the proportion of vaccinated people who have died from Covid has increased from 23 per cent in September 2021 to 58 per cent in August 2022 

Uptake of the bivalent booster has been sluggish in the US, with just one in ten of those eligible coming forward. Everyone over five years old can get the jab

Uptake of the bivalent booster has been sluggish in the US, with just one in ten of those eligible coming forward. Everyone over five years old can get the jab

White House discounts for Covid booster recipients 

Albertson’s pharmacies: 10 per cent off groceries (up to $20 off) for people who get their COVID-19 shot in-store. 

CVS: $5 off any purchase of $20 either in-store or online.

Rite Aid:  $5 off their $25 purchase for those who receive a COVID-19 booster. 

Southeastern Grocers: $20 in free groceries when a customer gets their updated COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot.

The analysis, commissioned by the Washington Post, was conducted by vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, Cynthia Cox.

Ms Cox’s work involves monitoring how well the US health system performs over time. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit organization which develops policy analysis on national health issues.

The first trials of Covid jabs suggested they were over 90 per cent effective against hospitalization and death.

This was weakened to around 80 per cent when the Delta and Omicron variants came into play.

Since then, it has been difficult to track the effective have because of the growing number of reinfections and different combinations of vaccinations people have received. 

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis from last year reinforced the protection booster shots provide against serious illness and death from Covid.

It said that in adults older than 65 years, ‘unvaccinated individuals continue to have a much greater risk of dying from Covid-19 than individuals vaccinated with at least a primary series’. 

In January this year, there were 244 deaths per 100,000 people in the unvaccinated over 80 years.

For those in the same age group but who were vaccinated, the rate of death was 38 per 100,000.

Vaccine effectiveness also wanes over time, and new variants emerge that are more resistant to the shots.

The highly infectious BA.5 Omicron subvariant spread over the summer, leading to a wave of new infections and hospitalizations. 

US health chiefs are now ‘monitoring’ a new Covid variant that is feared to be the ‘most vaccine-resistant yet’ after it sent cases spiraling in Singapore.

The CDC said the strain — dubbed ‘XBB’ — was still ‘very rare’ in the US with just 52 cases detected in 15 states to date.

Ms Cox said the new analysis did not surprise her, but added: ‘We can no longer say this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.’

It comes as the White House this week declared a six-week drive to get people jabbed before winter and the holiday season.

A $475 million campaign will help community health centers and other organizations to ensure vulnerable citizens like the elderly and those who are immunosuppressed are boosted.

This involves accessible vaccine sites, at-home shots, transport and outreach work.

Departing public health director Dr Anthony Fauci urged people yesterday to get tested and boosted before the holiday. 

He told reporters at his final press briefing: ‘When I see people in this country because of the divisiveness in our country… not getting vaccinated for reasons that have nothing to do with public health, but have to do because of divisiveness and ideological differences, as a physician, it pains me.’

Uptake of the newest booster shots remains sluggish, with just over 11 per cent of eligible Americans five and over having rolled up their sleeves for the shot.

The CDC is recommending aged five years and upwards gets the bivalent booster. 

The White House is now offering discounts on groceries to Americans who get the booster shot in a desperate bid to boost uptake.



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