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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."

Go deeper

Dec 5, 2021 - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Americans shrug off Omicron, Axios-Ipsos poll finds — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise."
  2. Vaccines: Omicron gives a shot to boosters — U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down.
  3. States: Gov. Hochul will order some NY hospitals to halt elective surgeries — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers.
  4. World: EU drug regulator backs mixing COVID vaccines — Poor global equity likely in COVID pill access — CDC raises travel advisories for France, Portugal to highest level amid COVID surge.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Dec 6, 2021 - Health

Cruise ship COVID outbreak: Louisiana officials find "probable" Omicron case

The Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship. Photo: Gerard Bottino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Louisiana health authorities said a suspected Omicron case was one of 17 confirmed COVID-19 infections among the passengers and crew of a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship that returned to New Orleans Sunday.

Driving the news: The Norwegian Breakaway departed New Orleans on Nov. 28 with more than 3,200 people on board, before making stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico, according to a Louisiana Department of Health statement.