- If the person is vaccinated, they are six times less likely to get Covid-19 than someone who’s unvaccinated.
- Those at particular risk are people who are immunocompromised
- Everyone must be vaccinated to protect the most vulnerable among us, who are at the highest risk for severe outcomes.
Health officials worry that anti-vaccine activists will seize upon Powell’s death to claim that vaccines don’t work, reports CNN.
Why do vaccinated people die from Covid-19?
The Covid-19 vaccines are extraordinarily effective in preventing illness and especially severe disease. The most recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that they reduce the likelihood of testing positive for Covid-19 by six-fold and the likelihood of death by 11-fold.
If the person is vaccinated, they are six times less likely to get Covid-19 than someone who’s unvaccinated.
However, the Covid-19 vaccines do not guarantee 100%. No vaccine does, just likely virtually no medical treatment is 100% effective. That doesn’t mean the vaccine doesn’t work.
Are some people more likely to have severe outcomes from Covid-19, despite vaccination?
This is one of the reasons booster shots are being recommended. Back in August, federal health officials recommended that people with moderate or severe immunocompromise, who had the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, receive a third dose of the vaccine.
They warned that even with the additional dose, immunocompromised individuals should take additional precautions. That’s because this is a category of people who are particularly susceptible to severe outcomes.
General Powell fell into that category. Individuals who are older and have underlying medical conditions are more likely to suffer severe illness and to die following breakthrough infections.
Those at particular risk are people who are immunocompromised. Having multiple myeloma would put General Powell into this category, and, in addition to his older age, would add to the level of risk.
For more information read our article:
Vaccines work best when everyone takes them
The key is to get as many people vaccinated as possible. This reduces the overall rate of infection and ends up protecting everyone.
Everyone must be vaccinated to protect the most vulnerable among us, who are at the highest risk for severe outcomes.
A study of 13 states over six months showed that fully vaccinated individuals made up only 4% of all hospitalizations from Covid-19. Unvaccinated people are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized for coronavirus than fully vaccinated adults, according to that CDC study.
Those who end up with breakthrough cases resulting in hospitalization are more likely to be older and to have multiple underlying medical conditions, as we discussed.
For people who don’t believe the vaccine is effective
“I’d ask them to think about other aspects of medicine. Let’s say that someone has heart disease. There are medications to treat heart disease, but they aren’t 100% effective — nothing is. Just because someone ends up with an exacerbation of their disease and in the hospital, doesn’t mean that the medications aren’t worth taking”, says Dr Leana Wen.
“One of the main conundrums in public health is that the work we do is about prevention. While you see the result if and when prevention fails, you don’t see all the lives saved because of prevention”, she added.
A modelling study supported by the National Institutes of Health found that the Covid-19 vaccines prevented more than 139,000 deaths in the first five months they were available. By May 9, around 570,000 Covid-19 deaths had occurred in the United States. Without vaccines, 709,000 deaths could have happened.
The bottom line is that vaccines work. They reduce the likelihood of contracting the disease and of getting severely ill and dying. They are not 100% because nothing is.
Can vaccines also prevent a resurgence of the virus this winter?
It’s encouraging that Covid-19 infection numbers are falling from the terrible delta wave that consumed the country this summer. However, another wave of infections is possible, especially with only 57% of the US population fully vaccinated.
“It’s going to be within our capability to prevent that from happening .The degree to which we continue to come down in that slope will depend on how well we do about getting more people vaccinated”, says Dr Anthony Faucci.
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