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Protection from COVID Vaccination Confirmed

01/20/2022

On January 18th Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, Ph.D, MPH, affiliated with the University of Texas Health Science Center, documented in her authoritative website Your Local Epidemiologist that vaccination protects against severe consequences arising from COVID infection. She cited data from the U.K., Switzerland and the U.S. to demonstrate the benefit of immunization.  From May through December 2021, critical care admissions to ICU wards in England, Wales and Northern Ireland attained 40.9 cases per 100,000 population among the 60 to 69-year age group.  Comparative figures for double-vaccinated patients of the same range in ages was 0.7 per 100,000 and for those receiving a booster, 0.4 per 100,000 population.  The hospital admission rate for those in the 30 to 39-age group was 1.6 per 100,000 in the non-vaccinated cases compared to 0.1 per 100,000 in the double- vaccinated category.

 

As of January 1st the death rate among non-vaccinated people in Switzerland was 16 per 100,000 for all age groups.  The corresponding figure for fully vaccinated (2 doses) was 2 per 100,000 and for those receiving a booster approximately 0.2 per 100,000.

 

In Oregon, the unvaccinated case rate during the first week of January was 2,250 per 100,000.  The corresponding figure for breakthrough cases among double-vaccinated individuals was 480 per 100,000.

 

Current incidence rates suggest that the Omicron wave has plateaued and is declining in many areas of the nation that showed widespread infection in November 2021. Dr. Jetelina provided a cautionary note, "there will be the same number of new infections on the way down as there were on the way up and hospitalizations and deaths will follow".   The conclusion from data presented on her website is that vaccines continue to provide protection against clinical infection requiring hospitalization and ICU care. To reduce the impact of COVID on society and the economy, public health measures are required over and above vaccination including masking and avoiding large concentrations of people in confined areas, especially with suboptimal ventilation. These precautions are also appropriate in some U.S. counties with low vaccination compliance. In rural Georgia 25% of the population is vaccinated contributing to an increasing incidence rate especially for gatherings that promote transmission of SARS-CoV-2, with the Omicron variant now responsible for 99 percent of new cases.