Recently, one piece of data has gotten into the spotlight: 99.5% of all the people dying from COVID-19 in the US are those still unvaccinated. Moreover, infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 107,000 hospitalizations from coronavirus, which makes it about 1.1%. It’s now agreed that the numbers serve as staggering proof of just how effective the vaccines have been.
And although CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing in June that the vaccine is so effective that “nearly every death, especially among adults, due to COVID-19, is, at this point, entirely preventable,” many people still haven't gotten a shot. In fact, just under 50% of the American population has been vaccinated as of mid-July 2021. Moreover, the US supply of vaccines is so abundant and demand for them has dropped so much that too many doses sit unused.
Seeing unvaccinated people suffering from COVID-19 complications and dying from it is especially tragic when you know that every death could have been prevented. So no wonder many vaccine critics have made it to the headlines for finally regretting not getting a vaccine earlier, but sadly, often it’s all too late.
"You can see it dawn on them that they potentially made the biggest mistake of their lives," the harrowing words by Samantha Batt-Rawden, a British senior intensive care doctor and the president of the Doctors' Association UK, reflect the tragic situation.
"You know that there is something that the patient could have had which would have meant their life is not at risk, and it is a question we get asked a lot," she added referring to the available COVID-19 vaccines. She also overheard numerous sorrows from family members of the patients that refused to get a potentially life-saving vaccine.
Many similar statements were made by ICU doctors across Europe and the US as the pace of vaccination has dropped dramatically.
The same drop in vaccination and an alarming rise of cases in unvaccinated patients is sweeping across the US. But according to experts, the coronavirus deaths that are now dubbed ‘preventable’ will continue, with unvaccinated pockets of the nation having outbreaks as soon as the fall season sets in. According to AP News, Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, said modeling suggests the nation will hit 1,000 deaths per day again next year.
Meanwhile, while the growing number of tragic stories about unvaccinated people dying may indeed inspire skeptics to finally get their jabs, young adults may be better motivated by a wish to protect their closed ones, argues David Michaels, who’s an epidemiologist at George Washington University. Young adults are the group considered least likely to get vaccinated.
In the White House briefing in June, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated: “COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 12 and up.” According to her, “They are nearly 100% effective against severe disease and death—meaning nearly every death due to COVID-19 is particularly tragic, because nearly every death, especially among adults, due to COVID-19 is at this point entirely preventable."
Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases confirmed to CNN that those still dying from COVID-19 in the US are "overwhelmingly" unvaccinated. So there's enough overwhelming evidence to conclude that people have knowingly put themselves in harm's way during this lethal pandemic.
This fact, of course, doesn’t make their deaths any less tragic and they should serve as an urgent reminder that up until the point of falling victim to the now-spreading Delta variant of COVID-19, vaccination is the only way to keep yourself and your family members safe before it’s too late.