The Perfect Enemy | Majority of Covid deaths are now among vaccinated Americans for the first time
December 2, 2022
Read Time:6 Minute

Majority of Covid deaths are among vaccinated Americans for the first time — now that 230million have had at least two shots

  • 58 per cent of Covid deaths are in those who have been vaccinated or boosted
  • As more people get vaccinated, they make up a greater proportion of fatalities 
  • Higher risk individuals such as the elderly are also more likely to have the shots

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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. 

It comes as the White House offers discounts on groceries to Americans who get the new bivalent Covid booster in a desperate bid to boost uptake of the vaccine.

Official data shows there are around 2,000 Americans dying with Covid every week now compared to around 8,000 this time last year.

At the peak of the pandemic in January 2021, there were more than 20,000 people succumbing to the virus every seven days.

A hugely successful vaccine campaign and repeated waves of infection have helped slash the severity of Covid, along with the weaker Omicron variant.

Some 69 per cent of Americans have been given at least two doses of vaccine, the equivalent of 230million.

 But uptake of the new, bivalent boosters which target Omicron specifically has been sluggish, with just 11 per cent of eligible people taking up the offer.

It comes as White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr Ashish Jha claimed on Tuesday that ‘essentially every Covid death in America’ could be prevented if Americans get their bivalent booster and get treated for any breakthrough infections.

According the analysis of CDC figures — by the Kaiser Family Foundation and 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

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White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr Ashish Jha claimed on Tuesday that 'essentially every Covid death in America' could be prevented if Americans get their bivalent booster and get treated for any breakthrough infections

White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr Ashish Jha claimed on Tuesday that ‘essentially every Covid death in America’ could be prevented if Americans get their bivalent booster and get treated for any breakthrough infections

Biden’s Covid bribe: Americans who get a booster vaccine this winter will get $20 discounts on their groceries

The White House is offering discounts on groceries to Americans who get the new bivalent Covid booster in a desperate bid to boost uptake of the vaccine.

People who get the Omicron-specific shot at CVS, Safeway, Winn-Dixie, or Rite Aid will get up to $20 off their purchases this winter.

It comes amid a soaring inflation crisis that has driven up the price of household staples. 

A recent American Farm Bureau report  found Thanksgiving dinner this year will cost a whopping 20 per cent more than last year.  

The new booster incentive comes ahead of a potential spike in Covid cases and hospitalizations this winter which could put pressure on already-overstretched hospitals.

Health workers are already grappling with the worst flu outbreak in 10 years and admissions caused by the common cold virus RSV — with both surges blamed on lockdowns suppressing people’s immunity to seasonal bugs.

The Covid bivalent rollout has been sluggish so far with just over 11 per cent of eligible Americans five and over having rolled up their sleeves for the shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending aged five years and upwards gets the bivalent booster. 

This contrasts with Denmark and Norway which are no longer offering jabs to non-seniors, while Sweden has said only those over 18 years old should get the shots.

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

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

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

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

The speed with which the virus has mutated quickly diminished how well the vaccines protected against the virus.

Earlier this year, Moderna and Pfizer launched their bivalent boosters which were designed to target the Omicron strain specifically.

The vaccines work by delivering instructions to our cells, teaching them how to fight the virus.

The original vaccines taught the body how to recognize the spike protein of the Wuhan strain, which differs significantly from the highly mutated spike on Omicron. 

But experts stress getting vaccinated is still the best form of protection for the vulnerable.

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.

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.’

And White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr Ashish Jha said: ‘If folks get their updated vaccines, and they get treated if they have a breakthrough infection, we can prevent essentially every Covid death in America.’

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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