Unvaccinated people now account for nearly all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the United States, federal government figures show.
An Associated Press analysis of May data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 (0.1%) of the more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations, and only about 150 (0.8%) of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths.
Citing limitations in the data, the CDC hasn’t estimated rates of hospitalizations and deaths among fully vaccinated people, but the findings of the data analysis reflect what’s being said by many health officials and experts, according to the AP.
Unvaccinated people account for 98% to 99% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States, Andy Slavitt, a former adviser to the Biden administration on COVID-19, said earlier this month.
On Tuesday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said COVID-19 vaccination is so effective that “nearly every death, especially among adults, due to COVID-19, is, at this point, entirely preventable,” and called such deaths “particularly tragic,” the AP reported.
U.S. COVID-19 deaths have dropped dramatically from a mid-January peak of 3,400 per day.
But while vaccines have proven highly effective and the United States has a large supply, there’s also been a steep drop in demand, with a substantial percentage of Americans remaining resistant to vaccination.
About 63% of all vaccine-eligible Americans — those aged 12 and older — have received at least one dose, and 53% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
There are likely to be outbreaks this fall and winter in unvaccinated pockets of the United States, resulting in more preventable deaths, experts predict.
Modeling suggests that death rates in the United States will climb to 1,000 per day again next year, Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, told the AP.
Some states will be more vulnerable than others. For example, only about 33% of Arkansas’ population is fully vaccinated — one of the lowest rates in the country — and cases, hospitalizations and deaths are already on the rise in that state.
“It is sad to see someone go to the hospital or die when it can be prevented,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted as he encouraged people to get vaccinated, the AP reported.
Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccines at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCE: Associated Press