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This Makes You 15X More Likely to Die of COVID, Says New Study

Take your booster shot ASAP.

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many factors remain uncertain. Are we closer to the end of the pandemic than the beginning? What will be the ultimate impact of the newly discovered Omicron variant? What should we do about holiday gatherings? Definitive answers are in high demand but relatively short supply. Unless it comes to this COVID statistic. A brand-new study found that a certain group of people are 15 times more likely to die of COVID; it was preceded by a study that found the risk was even higher. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


These People 15 Times More Likely To Die of COVID

Man gesturing stop to nurse offering syringe with vaccine.

A new report from the Arizona Department of Health found that people in that state who aren't fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are nearly four times more likely to test positive and 15 times more likely to die than vaccinated people, state officials said last Wednesday.

"Vaccines continue to be a safe and effective tool for preventing COVID-19 cases and deaths," Jessica Rigler, an assistant director of the state health department, told KTAR News. "We are very hopeful that this will be an additional point of information to encourage those who have not been vaccinated to go get their COVID vaccine if they are 5 or older."

The Arizona data is similar to nationwide statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that unvaccinated people were 5.8 times more likely to develop COVID, and 14 times more likely to die, than people who'd been fully vaccinated.


Other Recent Data Agrees

Close-up of young man getting PCR test at doctor's office during coronavirus epidemic.

Recent data from Texas shows even greater risks for the unvaccinated. A November study released by the Texas Department of State Health Services found that during the month of September, people in that state who weren't vaccinated against COVID-19 were 13 times more likely to test positive, and 20 times more likely to die from COVID, than people who were fully vaccinated.

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Another New Study Points Up Importance of Booster Shots

Nurse with face mask sitting at home with senior woman and injecting covid 19 vaccine.

Not only does being fully vaccinated slash your risk of dying of COVID, booster shots are highly protective against severe disease and hospitalization. That's according to last Tuesday's report in the Colorado Sun. A new study found that Coloradans who got a COVID booster shot between September and November were:

  • 9.7 times less likely to test positive for COVID than unvaccinated people
  • 47.5 times less likely to be hospitalized after contracting the disease than unvaccinated people 
  • 2.4 times less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than people who had been fully vaccinated but had not gotten a booster shot
  • 3.3 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who had been fully vaccinated but had not received a booster


Boosters Especially Important With Rise of Omicron

Doctor holding syringe, medical injection in hand with glove.

"The one conclusion I can clearly take away from all of this is the fact that now if ever there was a time where we understand the criticality of the booster dose as it's been called, it's now," said Dr. Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, on the latest episode of his podcast about COVID-19. Osterholm said the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines should have been three-dose regimens from the start. "Now with Omicron, it's become very clear."

He added: "You must have that third dose on board, whether you want to call it a booster, or you want to call it the last dose of the prime series. I don't care, but please let's not have more arguments about it."

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How to Stay Safe Out There


Follow the fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael
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