Do unvaccinated people make up most of the current deaths from COVID-19?

(Tiếng Việt)

Claim: An Associated Press article claims that 99% of new U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations/deaths are occurring among the unvaccinated.

Rating: This claim is MOSTLY TRUE. It is impossible to know the exact percentages of hospitalizations/deaths occurring in the unvaccinated and fully vaccinated because the data is not complete. However, all existing data overwhelmingly suggest that nearly all of the current hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are among the unvaccinated. Multiple government officials, both Democrat and Republican, have also concurred with this assessment and have encouraged people to get vaccinated.

On June 29, the Associated Press analyzed government data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data suggested that only 1.1% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients were fully vaccinated people: Only fewer than 1,200 out of 107,000 patients. This implies that 98.9% of the infections were of people who were partially or not at all vaccinated. 

The same data set indicated that only 0.8% of deaths from COVID-19 were of fully vaccinated people—which implies that 99.2% of deaths were of people who were not vaccinated. 

The CDC has not released its own analysis because it says there is limited data on the vaccination status of those hospitalized or deceased as a result of COVID-19: Five states do not record data of vaccinated people who were infected with COVID-19. This means that the number of COVID-19 infections among fully vaccinated people may be slightly higher than the Associated Press analysis. 

Despite this incomplete data, the proportion of hospitalizations/deaths occurring among the unvaccinated is likely very high. Many experts have confirmed that the vast majority of hospitalization/deaths are among people who are not fully vaccinated. 

Citing the CDC data at a July 21 event, President Joe Biden called the current situation, “a pandemic for those who haven’t gotten a vaccination.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that 99.2% of COVID-19 deaths in the US were among the unvaccinated. 

In July, the head of the CDC Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that “99.5% of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States were in unvaccinated people.” 

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, who is a Republican, said that ​​“almost 100 percent of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with the unvaccinated folks.” 

According to the CDC, Alabama’s vaccination rate is only 34.2%, the lowest in the country. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, just 20 out of 529 recent deaths were people who were fully vaccinated; in other words, 96.2% of recent deaths were among people who were not fully vaccinated. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is Republican, has said that the COVID-19 vaccines are “saving lives,” saying: “If you are vaccinated—fully vaccinated—the chance of you getting seriously ill or dying from COVID is effectively zero … If you look at the people who are being admitted to hospitals, over 95 percent of them are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all.” According to the CDC, 48.6% of Floridians have been fully vaccinated.

Local data bear this conclusion out. For example, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, since February, 8,787 people have died of COVID-19 in Texas. Among them, only 43 were fully vaccinated, meaning that 99.5% of the people who died were unvaccinated.

In Maryland in June, all deaths from COVID-19 were from unvaccinated people, and more than 93% of the hospitalizations were of unvaccinated people. 

Even in cities and counties, the data matches. In King County in Seattle, an area with many Vietnamese Americans, 97% of COVID cases in May were among the unvaccinated, according to the King County Public Health Department.

The current Delta variant is between 40% to 60% more infectious than the original Alpha COVID-19 infection, according to the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, Operational sub-group, which advises the Department of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom. 

Unvaccinated people are already at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Since the Delta variant is more contagious, there are more chances for COVID-19 exposure to cause a serious infection. 

The COVID-19 vaccines seem to be effective against the Delta variant. A study of nearly 20,000 people published in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers from Public Health England, the National Institute of Health Research, and other government and academic institutions in the United Kingdom found that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine were 88% effective at preventing hospitalization from the Delta variant. 

This makes it clear that vaccination is essential to preventing death from COVID-19, especially the Delta variant.

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Viet Fact Check has partnered with a number of community and health organizations to educate the Vietnamese-American community on the COVID-19 vaccine. The project is supported by: Progressive Vietnamese American Organization (PIVOT), Asian Health Services (AHS), the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Union of North American Vietnamese American Students (UNAVSA), Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC), Asian American Research Center on Health (ARCH) and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO).

This article is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $3,300,000 with 40% funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.