Nov 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Texas research: Unvaxxed 20 times more likely to die from COVID

A person about to get vaccinated in Austin.
A healthcare worker administers a Covid-19 vaccine at an Austin Regional Clinic drive-thru vaccination and testing site in August. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Unvaccinated people are 20 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people, per new state research.

Driving the news: To determine the effects of COVID-19 vaccination in Texas, researchers at the Department of State Health Services analyzed data from electronic lab reports, death certificates and the state immunization registry.

  • The analysis included a period from Jan. 15 to Oct. 1, 2021 with a focus on the four weeks from Sept. 4 to Oct. 1, which allowed researchers to measure the effect of COVID-19 vaccination as the more contagious Delta variant surged across Texas.

What they found: Besides the dizzying difference in death rates, unvaccinated people are 13 times more likely to become infected with COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people.

  • Vaccination had a strong protective effect on infections and deaths among people of all ages.

State of play: Despite more than 10 days of lower hospital admissions, Austin Public Health officials said Friday they will remain in Stage 3 COVID risk-based guidelines ahead of the holidays.

  • "I know we're tired," Austin-Travis County Health Authority Desmar Walkes said. "We've been in this for two years. We've lost friends; we've lost family. As the virus continues to struggle to survive, we have to continue to get smarter, make sure that we're using every piece of data that is at our disposal, make sure that we're giving the community the best information possible."
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