A recent analysis done by Cynthia Cox of the Kaiser Family Foundation for The Health 202 newsletter of The Washington Post found that approximately 58 percent of the people who died of COVID-19 in the United States in August 2022 had been vaccinated or vaccinated and boosted for COVID. Earlier this year, it was estimated that 42 percent of deaths attributed to COVID were among vaccinated or vaccinated and boosted individuals.1 2 3 4
This “troubling trend” is something that has been developing during the past year, according to an article published in the Post on Nov. 23, 2022. “As vaccination rates have increased and new variants appeared, the share of deaths of people who were vaccinated has been steadily rising,” wrote Post health researcher McKenzie Beard.2
San Diego County Offers Case Study of Health Impact of COVID Shots
Cox’s analysis, which used data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID Data Tracker, follows the release of data by the California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) revealing that 41 percent of the COVID deaths that occurred in San Diego County during May-July 2022 were among fully vaccinated and boosted individuals. There were 104,288 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in San Diego County from May to July. Of that total, more than 68,000 San Diegans who received COVID shots became infected with SARS-CoV-2 (about 65 percent), 2,417 of them were hospitalized for COVID symptoms and 88 of them ended up dying of COVID.5 6
Of the San Diegans hospitalized, approximately 1,600 of them (about 66 percent) were fully vaccinated or fully vaccinated and boosted. Of those who died, between 41 and 67 percent of them were either fully vaccinated of fully vaccinated and boosted.6
If You’re Vaccinated, You’re Not Going to Die of COVID. That’s a Myth.
The phenomenon of people who have been partially or fully vaccinated (including many who also received one or more booster shots) dying from COVID has likely perplexed many Americans, given assurances from leaders within the U.S. government over the past two years that if you get the COVID shots, not only will you not be hospitalized for COVID, neither will you die from the disease. There have been many instances of such assurances, but perhaps the most high-profile and blatant one was uttered by President Biden at a televised town hall forum in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 21, 2021. President Biden said:
You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.7
If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in the IC unit, and you’re not going to die.7
This public guarantee by President Biden came only a few days after the director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, MD, stated at a White House press briefing that more than 97 percent of Americans being hospitalized for COVID symptoms were unvaccinated. The figure apparently served to justify Dr. Walensky’s highly publicized claim that COVID had become a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” which was subsequently repeated countless times by governors, legislators, journalists, news commentators, public health officials and health care providers throughout the country. Perhaps most of all by the President of the United States.8 9 10
The phrase “pandemic of the unvaccinated” was carefully being seared into the American psyche and became an invaluable marketing tool for encouraging people to rush and get the initial COVID shots and then, eventually, the requisite booster shots.
The analysis by Cox for The Health 202, as well as the data from San Diego County—the second largest county in California, with a population of nearly 3.3 million—should effectively put to rest the notion that those vaccinated for COVID can avoid being hospitalized for the disease or dying from it.6
The “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated” Was Another Myth
Of course, the problem with this declaration by Cox is that it was never a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” from the start. The idea that people who dutifully went out and got vaccinated for COVID would be protected from getting infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus or at least being hospitalized for COVID or certainly from dying of COVID was never based on scientific fact.
The 97 percent COVID hospitalization figure cited by Dr. Walensky at a White House press briefing on July 16, 2021 and again at another White House press briefing on Aug. 5, 2021 was, at the very least, deceptive and most likely woefully inaccurate. The figure implied that people vaccinated for COVID made up less than three percent of those hospitalized for COVID in the U.S. This led many people to think that the COVID shots were responsible for the extremely low hospitalization rate, leading to the inevitable conclusion that the shots were working nearly to perfection.8 9 10
That conclusion might have been valid had there been a relatively equal number of unvaccinated people versus vaccinated people in the U.S. during the January-June 2021 timeframe from which Dr. Walensky’s data was derived in order to make a fair and balanced comparison. But there was not.8
The reason Dr. Walensky and countless others (including President Biden) who took their cue from her were able to make the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” case was not because unvaccinated people were necessarily more susceptible to becoming ill with COVID, but because through at least April 2021, there were still relatively few people in the U.S. who were vaccinated.8
As of Jan. 1, 2021, only 0.5 percent of the U.S. population had been fully vaccinated. By Feb. 1, the figure had risen to 1.8 percent of the population. By Mar. 1, it 7.6 percent. By Apr. 1, it was 16.8 percent. By May 1, it was 30.9 percent. On June 1, 40.6 percent of the U.S. population had been fully vaccinated. By the end of June 2021, it was 46.3 percent.8
By Aug. 31, 2022, 79 percent of the U.S. population had gotten at least one COVID shot; 68 percent were considered “fully vaccinated;” and 33 percent had gotten a booster dose.11
For the record then, it has never been a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” From the outset of the pandemic, vaccinated (and boosted) people have been among those contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, being hospitalized for COVID symptoms and dying from COVID. The size of this segment has likely been larger than the CDC has led the public to believe, but it’s hard to know just how much larger because the agency has admitted that its access to COVID-related data from state and local governments has been limited.12
Public Health Data Not Collected Uniformly
Public health data in the U.S. is not collected uniformly. “We have over 3000 health departments in this country, all of which operate independently,” notes David Fleming, MD of the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle.13
Dr. Walensky herself has acknowledged that her agency can request health data from states and local governments, “but we can’t compel or mandate data from those jurisdictions. That is shocking to many people.” This comment is consistent with the following statement on the CDC website: “CDC does not have direct authority to require data reporting.”13 14
The CDC website further states:
CDC receives data from 50 states and 3000+ local jurisdictions and territories. Each jurisdiction creates their own data sharing agreements with CDC and with each other. For the most part, it is up to each city, county, and state to decide what information is collected, as well as how and when it can be shared with CDC. These decisions can vary widely, leading to big differences in the data CDC receives.14
It is not hard to imagine how inconsistent data coming from such a system would be, and that is the system the CDC has relied upon for the COVID information it has been providing the U.S. public over the past three years.
Because Cox’s analysis is based on data from the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, it is probably no more than an educated guesstimate of the percentage of Americans dying from COVID who have been vaccinated or vaccinated and boosted for the disease. The analysis, however, does seem to offer a more balanced, and possibly realistic, perspective. Certainly a sobering one to those who have placed so much confidence in these experimental pharmaceutical products.
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Click here to view References:
1 AFP. Vaccinated people accounting for majority of Covid deaths in the US: Report. WION Nov. 24, 2022.
2 Beard M. Covid is no longer mainly a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Here’s why. The Washington Post Nov. 23, 2022.
3 O’Mary L. More Vaccinated People Dying of COVID as Fewer Get Booster Shots. WebMD Nov. 27, 2022.
4 Pandolfo C. Vaccinated Americans a majority of COVID deaths for first time in August: analysis. Fox News Nov. 23, 2022.
5 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rates of COVID-19 Cases or Deaths by Age Group and Vaccination Status and Booster Dose. Oct. 21, 2022.
6 Cáceres M. Lots of Vaccinated, Boosted San Diegans Die from COVID. The Vaccine Reaction Sept. 5, 2022.
7 Woodward C, Yen H. AP FACT CHECK: Biden goes too far in assurances on vaccines. The Associated Press July 22, 2021.
8 Cáceres M. Is it Really a Pandemic of the Unvaccinated? The Vaccine Reaction Aug. 29, 2022.
9 White House. Press Briefing by White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials. July 16, 2021.
10 White House. Press Briefing by White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials. Aug. 5, 2021.
11 USA Facts. US Coronavirus vaccine tracker. Aug. 31, 2022.
12 Mahr K. CDC director orders agency overhaul, admitting flawed Covid-19 response. Politico Aug. 17, 2022.
13 Jaffe S. US CDC begins agency-wide changes after pandemic failures. The Lancet Nov. 19, 2022.
14 CDC. Where does our data come from? May 6, 2022.