The unvaccinated were 20 times more likely than the fully vaccinated to die of COVID-19 in September, according to a new report from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The unvaccinated were also 13 times more likely to test positive for the virus.
“This analysis quantifies what we’ve known for months,” said Chief State Epidemiologist Jennifer Shuford, MD. “The COVID-19 vaccines are doing an excellent job of protecting people from getting sick and from dying from COVID-19. Vaccination remains the best way to keep yourself and the people close to you safe from this deadly disease.”
A press release announcing the study, which focused on Texas residents, explains:
An analysis of data from the four-week period from Sept. 4 through Oct. 1 shows that vaccination had a strong protective effect across all ages. While the impact varied across age groups, it was most pronounced in younger groups. The risk of COVID-19 death was 23 times higher in unvaccinated people in their 30s and 55 times higher for people in their 40s, compared with their vaccinated peers. There were fewer than 10 COVID-19 deaths among fully vaccinated people ages 18 to 29 compared with 84 deaths among unvaccinated people in the same age group.
The study also confirmed that the delta variant is much more transmissible than previous strains of COVID-19: “Overall, regardless of vaccination status, people in Texas were four to five times more likely to become infected with COVID-19 or suffer a COVID-19-associated death while the Delta variant was prevalent in Texas (August 2021) compared with a period before the Delta variant became prevalent (April 2021).”
“I know we’re tired,” Austin-Travis County Health Authority Desmar Walkes said. “We’ve been in this for two years. We’ve lost friends; we’ve lost family. As the virus continues to struggle to survive, we have to continue to get smarter, make sure that we’re using every piece of data that is at our disposal, make sure that we’re giving the community the best information possible.”
On Monday, The New York Times underscored the partisan divide in COVID-19 deaths:
In October, 25 out of every 100,000 residents of heavily Trump counties died from Covid, more than three times higher than the rate in heavily Biden counties (7.8 per 100,000). October was the fifth consecutive month that the percentage gap between the death rates in Trump counties and Biden counties widened.