According to new state data, the majority of the new cases and deaths due to COVID-19 in the state of Texas are unvaccinated people.
“We’ve known for a while that vaccines were going to have a protective effect on a large segment of our population,” said Dr. Jennifer A. Shuford, state epidemiologist.
“By looking at our own population and seeing what the impact of the vaccines have been on that population, we’re hoping just to be able to reach people here in Texas and show them the difference that being fully vaccinated can make in their lives and for their communities.”
The findings include:
Unvaccinated people were 13 times more likely to become infected with COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people. Unvaccinated people were also 20 times more likely to experience COVID-19-associated death than fully vaccinated people.
Vaccination had a strong protective effect on infections and deaths among people of all ages. The protective impact on infections was consistent across adult age groups and even greater in people ages 12 to 17 years.
The protective impact on COVID-19 deaths, which was high for all age groups, varied more widely. In the September time frame, unvaccinated people in their 40s were 55 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared with fully vaccinated people of the same age.
Unvaccinated people aged 75 years and older were 12 times more likely to die than their vaccinated counterparts.
Overall, regardless of vaccination status, people in Texas were four to five times more likely to become infected with COVID-19 or suffer a COVID-19-associated death while the Delta variant was prevalent in Texas (August 2021) compared with a period before the Delta variant became prevalent (April 2021).
From Jan. 15 to Oct. 1, unvaccinated people were 45 times more likely to have an infection with COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people.
From Sept. 4 to Oct. 1, unvaccinated people were 13 times more likely to become infected than fully vaccinated people.
For both periods, the impact was strong across all age groups with the greatest protective effect in children 12 to 17 years of age.
From Jan. 15, 2021 to Oct. 1, 2021, unvaccinated people were 40 times more likely to experience COVID-19-associated death than fully vaccinated people.
From Sept. 4, 2021 to Oct. 1, 2021, unvaccinated people were 20 times more likely to experience COVID-19-associated death than fully vaccinated people.
For both periods, the impact was strong across all age groups with a somewhat smaller protective effect in older adults at least 75 years old.
“Texas is a unique place; it’s got a lot of diversity, geographic and population-wise,” Shuford said. “We know that some people want to see actual numbers and that they want to see it for their own community.
And so we are hoping that this reaches some of those people who have been hesitant and really just questioning the benefits of the vaccines.”
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