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These People Are 11 Times More Likely to Die From COVID

However, there are ways to avoid that fate.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

We're still wearing masks, and we're still worrying about community transmission—much about the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic might feel like deja vu. But the shape of the pandemic has changed since its beginnings. Although not at the peak set last winter, the death rate has risen since the spring and continues to climb nationwide. But today experts know that one group of people are 11 times more likely to die from the disease—and they know how you can stay safe. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.


One Group in Danger

Female doctor or nurse trying to give shot or vaccine against virus to a scared patient. Angry and distrustful patient refuses to receive it.

On Friday, the CDC released a study that found one group has an exponentially higher risk of dying from COVID-19: People who haven't been fully vaccinated against the virus.

The study analyzed more than 600,000 COVID-19 cases in 13 states between April and July of this year, involving about a quarter of the U.S. population. Researchers found that people who weren't fully vaccinated were 4.5 times more likely than vaccinated people to contact COVID, 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die from the disease.


"Vaccination Works"

A woman displays her vaccination card and the

"As we have shown, study after study, vaccination works," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at a White House COVID briefing on Friday. "It's still well over 90 percent of people who are in the hospital who are unvaccinated." 

She added: "We still have more than 10 times the number of people in the hospital who are unvaccinated, compared to vaccinated."

RELATED: 5 Things to Never Do During The Delta Pandemic


Protection Against Delta Variant Strong

Female Doctor hands holding vaccine bottle and syringe.

The study found that COVID vaccines still provided strong protection against severe disease, hospitalization or death from the Delta variant. But protection against infection declined a bit, from 91 percent to 78 percent.

RELATED: If You Work Here, You Now Need a Vaccine, Says President


But What Does that Infection Risk Mean?

The couple with protective masks and gloves is listening music and using phone outdoors, modern lifestyle concept in coronavirus season.

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that the chance of the average vaccinated American contracting COVID is about 1 in 5,000 per day—and probably lower if you take additional precautions (like wearing a face mask) or live in a highly vaccinated area. In fact, the risk may be as low as 1 in 10,000 in highly vaccinated areas like San Francisco.

"Here's one way to think about a one-in-10,000 daily chance: It would take more than three months for the combined risk to reach just 1 percent," wrote David Leonhardt. 

Infection rates are nearly four times higher in the least vaccinated states than in the most vaccinated states. "If the entire country had received shots at the same rate as the Northeast or California, the current Delta wave would be a small fraction of its current size," wrote Leonhardt. "Delta is a problem. Vaccine hesitancy is a bigger problem."

RELATED: "Top Delta Symptoms" People Notice First


How to Stay Safe Out There

Surgeons washing their hands in a hospital while smiling

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