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This Makes You 97X More Likely to Die, Says Virus Expert

"Unvaccinated individuals were 97 times more likely to die compared to those who were boosted."
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

As the COVID surge continues, cases are going down but deaths are going up. And it's incredibly likely you know someone who caught COVID recently—vaccinated or not, there's also a good chance it wasn't pleasant. But who is most at risk of death? Startling new data presented by CDC Chief Rochelle Walensky sheds some light about just how at-risk those unvaccinated are. Read on for 5 life-saving pieces of insight—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Walensky Said "Unvaccinated Individuals Were 97 Times More Likely to Die" Compared to Those Boosted

Man gesturing stop to nurse offering syringe with vaccine.

Walensky showed data from 25 US jurisdiction  that report cases and deaths linked to vaccination status…Vaccination and booster doses substantially decrease the risk of death from COVID-19. Looking at the data from the weekend, December 4th, the number of average weekly deaths for those who were unvaccinated was 9.7 per hundred thousand people, but only 0.7 per hundred thousand people for those who were vaccinated. This means the risk of dying from COVID-19 was 14 times higher for people who were unvaccinated compared to those who received only a primary series. For those who were boosted, the average of weekly deaths was 0.1 per 100,000 people—meaning that unvaccinated individuals were 97 times more likely to die compared to those who were boosted."

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Walensky Showed Data Proving Boosters Work

Scientists and microbiologists with PPE suit and face mask hold test tube and microscope in lab

Walensky also showed some "new data from CDCs COVID net hospital surveillance network to further show how essential vaccination and boosting is in preventing hospitalization from COVID 19." She showed data "comparing the percentage of people, age 65 and older, who are unvaccinated and boosted in the general population…. And those who are hospitalized, only12% of those age 65 and over remain unvaccinated in the general population. But when we look at those over the age of 65, who are in the hospital for COVID-19, 54% are unvaccinated in stark contrast. Now let's look at those who have been boosted. 57% of those over age, 65 boosted in the general population and only 8% of those over the age of 65. And in the hospital for COVID-19 have received a booster dose. These same trends are seen across all age groups. These data show us that the percent of people who are currently hospitalized due to COVID 19 are disproportionately unvaccinated, and disproportionately not boosted. Additionally, these data confirm that vaccination and boosting continue to protect against severe illness and hospitalization."

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Walensky Said Cases are Down but Deaths are Up

Doctor and covid-19 infected patient in bed in hospital.

Walensky said: "The current seven day daily average of cases is about 446,400 cases per day, a decrease of about 36% over the previous week. The seven day average of hospital admissions is about 17,100 per day, also a decrease of about 14% over the previous week. And the seven day average daily deaths are about 2,300 per day, which is an increase of about 4% over the prior week. While we continue to have large decreases, in average daily case counts across the country, hospitalizations remain high stretching our healthcare capacity and workforce to its limits in some areas of the country and daily deaths also remain quite high." She wanted to "reinforce the critical importance of vaccination."

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LONG Covid Remains a Threat

Doctor nurse in protective face mask listening to breath with a stethoscope suspecting Coronavirus (COVID-19).

COVID patients are still strugggling with symptoms that may never go away. At the same briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked about any progress with Long COVID treatments. "Yeah, there is a very large study that's been initiated some time ago, the RECOVER study, at the NIH and collaboration with other agencies, looking at the incidents, the prevalence, and hopefully understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of long COVID," he said. "Right now, the data are starting to come in. It's too early to make any definitive statements, but for those individuals,—and as you know, long COVID means the persistence of signs and symptoms that are not explainable by any readily recognizable pathogenic process following the recovery from the acute infection—there have been some suggestions that it is an aberrant inflammatory response, perhaps some element of auto-immunity, perhaps some element of persistence of nucleotide fragments from the virus. All of these now are being actively pursued, but before we can make any definitive statements, we need to learn a lot more about it, but the ultimate goal of figuring out how we might be able to mitigate or prevent some of the symptoms."

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How to Stay Safe Out There

A mid adult woman protects herself by placing an N95 face mask over her nose and mouth.

"Even during the Omicron surge. If you are not up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations, you have not optimized your protection again and severe disease and death, and you should get vaccinated and boosted if you are eligible," said Walensky. So follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted 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.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek
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