Vaccinated Americans most first-time COVID deaths in August: Analysis

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For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the majority of Americans who died from the coronavirus were at least partially vaccinated, according to a new analysis of federal and state data.

The declining effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and increasingly contagious strains of the virus that are spreading to the elderly and immunocompromised have led to more deaths among those who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to a analysis published Wednesday by the Washington Post.

“Fifty-eight percent of coronavirus deaths in August were in vaccinated or boosted people,” the Post reported.

The paper describes a “worrying trend” as the proportion of deaths of vaccinated people has been “steadily increasing” over the past year.

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President Biden receives a COVID-19 booster shot at the White House on October 25, 2022.

President Biden receives a COVID-19 booster shot at the White House on October 25, 2022.
(Tom Brenner for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“In September 2021, vaccinated people accounted for just 23 percent of coronavirus fatalities. In January and February of this year, it was up to 42 percent,” wrote Fenit Nirappil and Dan Keating of the Washington Post .

“We can no longer say this is a pandemic of unvaccinated people,” said Kaiser Family Foundation Vice President Cynthia Cox, who conducted the analysis on behalf of the Post.

Senior health officials have repeatedly urged Americans to complete their primary vaccination series and boost them to maximize the vaccine’s protection against COVID-19.

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Dr.  Ashish Jha, coordinator of the coronavirus response, speaks during a daily press briefing at the White House on October 25, 2022.

Dr. Ashish Jha, coordinator of the coronavirus response, speaks during a daily press briefing at the White House on October 25, 2022.
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

At a news conference Tuesday, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha unveiled the Biden administration’s new “six-week sprint” campaign to vaccinate Americans this holiday season .

“The bottom line is that we’re going to do everything we can over the next six weeks to help families get their updated COVID vaccinations by the end of the year, because it’s the best protection for this winter,” Jha said, adding than the last iteration. of the COVID-19 vaccine is a “once a year” vaccine, similar to the flu vaccine.

Outgoing White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci also spoke at Tuesday’s press conference, where he delivered his “final message” before leaving office at the end of the year.

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A syringe containing Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at the Keystone First Wellness Center in Chester, Pennsylvania, on December 15, 2021.

A syringe containing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at the Keystone First Wellness Center in Chester, Pennsylvania, on December 15, 2021.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Fauci emphasized the safety and effectiveness of approved COVID-19 vaccines in preventing serious illness and death and encouraged Americans to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible. He noted that the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine wanes over time and said the disease should not be compared to other vaccine-treatable diseases such as measles because of new variants emerging every few months.

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Protesters gather for a rally against the COVID-19 vaccine mandates in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on January 23, 2022.

Protesters gather for a rally against the COVID-19 vaccine mandates in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on January 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

“My message, and my final message, perhaps the final message that I give you from this podium, is that please, for your safety, for your family’s safety, get the updated COVID-19 as soon as you can to protect yourself, your family and your community,” Fauci said. “I urge you to visit vaccine.gov to find a location where you can easily obtain an updated vaccine, and please do so as soon as possible.”

Several medical experts, including Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, have acknowledged that coronavirus vaccines do not necessarily protect people against infection and transmission.

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Despite this, several people, including Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Lapado, were criticized for suggesting that the COVID vaccines were not as effective as originally claimed.

In October, a New York State Supreme Court ordered that all employees who were fired because of New York City’s vaccination mandate be reinstated with back pay, finding that “being being vaccinated does not prevent a person from contracting or transmitting COVID-19.”

Lindsay Kornick of Fox News contributed to this report.

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