The statement: Mortality among those vaccinated against COVID-19 is significantly higher compared to the unvaccinated population
New data this week found that fully vaccinated adults aged 65 or over were 94% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than their peers at the same age – and 64% less likely to receive only one dose of the mRNA vaccine.
These findings are the first large-scale real-world results to support data from clinical trials by Pfizer and Moderna (and early reports from Israel), said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the study.
But vaccination, although highly effective, does not completely prevent the coronavirus in some people. In the last few weeks, states in the United States have reported cases of COVID-1
On social media, a small number of deaths among this group led to comparisons with COVID-19 mortality among the population.
“The mortality of fully vaccinated people is SIGNIFICANTLY higher than that of unvaccinated people,” said Instagram user Ian Smith in a post on April 25.
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Smith’s post includes a screenshot of an April 24 tweet claiming that the CDC reported “7,157 fully vaccinated Americans became ill with COVID-19, 88 died …”
As of April 20, the CDC had indeed reported a total of 7,157 cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated people and 88 deaths.
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But public health experts say calculating mortality from these figures and comparing it to the general population is misleading.
USA TODAY contacted Smith for comment.
The data mainly reflect serious cases of COVID-19
To calculate the exact mortality, the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 among vaccinated individuals must be known. But that number isn’t, said Lisa Miller, an epidemiologist and clinical professor at the Colorado School of Public Health.
“We don’t know this because we’re not there to test everyone (vaccinated),” she told the United States TODAY.
This reporting gap is also acknowledged by the CDC, which relies on voluntary reporting by public health services.
“Not all real-world breakthrough cases will be identified due to a lack of testing. This is especially true in cases of asymptomatic or mild disease, “the agency said, stressing that the data only serves as a” snapshot “to help” identify patterns … among vaccine outbreaks. “
Without a real number of asymptomatic and mild cases, this picture is skewed to severe cases of COVID-19, said Christine Nelson, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Emory University’s University of Public Health.
Infected vaccinated people with severe symptoms are more likely to seek medical attention, be hospitalized, or die. These are the cases noticed and investigated by the state health services, which later reached the CDC, both Nelson and Miller told USA TODAY.
Importantly, the CDC stated that 11 of the 88 deaths among COVID-19-infected, fully vaccinated people were “asymptomatic or unrelated to COVID-19.”
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The number of outbreaks of vaccine infections is also quite small compared to the more than 100 million adults in the United States who were fully vaccinated by April 30.
Vaccinated people are most at risk
The most obvious reason to avoid comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated mortality is the types of people in each group.
Each country has prioritized people at greatest risk, so the group of people vaccinated is highly skewed toward those whose age and medical history make them prone to serious cases of COVID-19 and death from it. So when the expected breakthroughs happen, it’s not surprising that they will lead to some deaths.
Consider, for example, age.
Elderly adults are at greatest risk of developing a serious illness that requires hospitalization and death, with eight out of 10 deaths of COVID-19 reported in adults aged 65 and over, according to the CDC. And 37% of people vaccinated so far are in this age group, although people aged 65 and over are only 16% of the total population.
So the vaccinated are a group of people prone to more severe cases.
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Among more than 7,000 reported breakthrough infections, nearly 46% are related to people over the age of 60. We do not know the age of those who died after breakthrough infections, as the CDC has not published these data.
Our rating: False
We evaluate the claim that mortality from COVID-19 among fully vaccinated individuals is significantly higher than unvaccinated FALSE, based on our research. Experts say the total number of outbreaks of vaccine infections is unknown and the state’s voluntary reporting to the CDC deviates to more serious cases of COVID-19, it is not possible to directly conclude an exact mortality. Nevertheless, any comparison between vaccinated and unvaccinated is strongly distorted by the fact that the vaccinated group currently has a much higher proportion of older people who are most at risk.
Our sources for fact verification:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 28, fully vaccinated adults 65 and older are 94% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19
USA TODAY, April 18, Warning Story: COVID-19 infection after vaccination is rare, but a breakthrough can occur. It happened to this man.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, available April 29, COVID-19 breakthrough investigations and reporting
Lisa Miller, April 29, telephone interview
Christine Nelson, April 29, telephone interview
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, available April 30, Trends in COVID-19 deaths and deaths in the United States reported to the CDC, by country / territory
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, available April 30, vaccinations against COVID-19 in the US
American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 16, adults
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Feb. 18, Risk of COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death by Age Group
Tara Kirk Sell, April 27, telephone interview
USA TODAY, April 30, 100 million Americans received two doses or one J&J shot; US to restrict flights from India: live updates for COVID-19
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This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Verification of the facts: Misleading allegation of death of fully vaccinated people