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Dying Americans are Not Fully Vaccinated

The covid-19 pandemic has receded substantially in the U.S. Credits in part to a successful vaccine campaign. The new report from the Associated Press released Thursday highlights a clear divide in the country: Americans are still getting seriously sick and dying from a viral illness, but the vast majority of this harm is happening among the not Fully Vaccinated.

The AP analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on covid-related hospitalizations and deaths reported in May 2021. During that time, there were more than 850,000 documented hospitalizations, with only about 1,200 linked to people who were Fully Vaccinated. The Fully Vaccinated people accounted for just about 0.1% of all hospitalizations last month. The death toll was similarly skewed. Around 18,000 deaths were reported in May, but only 150 involved Fully Vaccinated people.

The figures are based on somewhat incomplete information since only 45 states regularly report so-called breakthrough infections of vaccinated people. So there may be some deaths and infections among the vaccinated that are going unnoticed. The data aligns with clinical trial results of the FDA-authorized covid-19 vaccines that showed remarkable protection from hospitalization and death. They also mirror the real-world data collected in other highly vaccinated countries.

Earlier this week, during a White House briefing, CDC director Rochelle Walensky noted that nearly every death, particularly among adults, due to covid-19 is at this point entirely preventable as she pointed to the widespread availability of vaccines for those ages 12 and up. As of June 24, 45.6% of the U.S. population is vaccinated, including 53.3% of those over 12.

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