Unvaccinated Texans 20 times more likely to die from COVID-19: data

A new study released by the Texas Department of State Health Services shows that Texans not vaccinated against COVID-19 were about 20 times more likely to suffer a COVID-19-associated death and 13 times more likely to test positive than people who were fully vaccinated.

The risk of COVID-19 death was 48 times higher in unvaccinated people in their 30s and 63 times higher for people in their 40s, compared with their vaccinated peers, according to the study. There were fewer than 10 COVID-19 deaths among fully vaccinated people ages 18 to 29 compared with 339 deaths among unvaccinated people in the same age group.

Vaccination had a strong protective effect across all ages, according to the study. While the impact varied across age groups, it was most pronounced in younger groups. 

The study analyzed data from the four-week period from Sept. 4 through Oct. 1. It matched electronic lab reports and death certificates with state immunization records.

"This analysis quantifies what we’ve known for months," said Chief State Epidemiologist Jennifer Shuford, MD. "The COVID-19 vaccines are doing an excellent job of protecting people from getting sick and from dying from COVID-19. Vaccination remains the best way to keep yourself and the people close to you safe from this deadly disease."

Public health researchers focused specifically on the September period to measure the effect of COVID-19 vaccination as the more contagious Delta variant surged across Texas. A summary with a link to the full analysis, including data from a January 15 through Oct. 1 period, is available here.

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