CDC: Unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than people who got shots

Three charts showing rates of infection, hospitalization, and death are far higher in unvaccinated than vaccinated
While cases ticked up among the fully vaccinated as the Delta variant spread across the US, hospitalizations and deaths did not. CDC MMWR
  • A new CDC study shows unvaccinated Americans were 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
  • From April-June, unvaccinated people accounted for 95% of cases, 93% of hospitalizations, and 92% of deaths.
  • From June-July, unvaccinated people accounted for 82% of cases, 86% of hospitalizations, and 84% of deaths.
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More data released on Friday shows, once again, that unvaccinated people are far more vulnerable to infection, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 than the fully vaccinated.

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, released on Friday afternoon, tracked more than 615,000 COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the US from the beginning of April until the middle of July, in 13 different areas of the country.

Across the board, the study showed that unvaccinated people made up for the bulk of all cases nationwide, even in the later part of the summer, when the Delta variant was dominant.

During the first period of the study, from April 4-June 19, unvaccinated people accounted for 95% of cases, 93% of hospitalizations, and 92% of deaths.

Later on, from June 20-July 17, when the more contagious Delta variant had a stronger foothold in the US, the number of breakthrough cases rose in vaccinated people. But even then, unvaccinated people accounted for 82% of cases, 86% of hospitalizations, and 84% of deaths, meaning the unvaccinated were still far more vulnerable to COVID-19.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 briefing on Friday that while more vaccinated Americans are being hospitalized, it’s nowhere near the number of unvaccinated Americans who are being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19.

In fact, over the past two months, when the Delta variant was responsible for almost every single COVID-19 case, those who were unvaccinated were nearly five times more likely to catch COVID-19, 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated.

“The bottom line is this: We have the scientific tools we need to turn the corner on this pandemic,” Walensky said. “Vaccination works and will protect us from the severe complications of COVID-19.”

The release of the study comes after President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled sweeping actions and measures to get millions more Americans vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Biden’s new policies include mandates to require that all federal employees get the COVID-19 vaccine and a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly for the coronavirus.

The new requirements could affect as many as 100 million Americans.