As of writing, February 9, 2022, there have been a whopping 907,000 reported COVID-19 deaths in the United States alone. This is, in part, owing to the surge of the Omicron variant, which caused a huge wave of infections across the country. But a more intricate look at the data shows that there is a bigger culprit behind surging COVID-19 deaths — low vaccination rates.
States With Low Vaccination Rates Have Biggest Share in Total COVID-19 Deaths
In the last six weeks, the United States has recorded over 100,000 deaths due to COVID-19. The States of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have the largest contributions to current death rates and are coincidentally the lowest vaccination States.
In stark contrast to areas with high vaccination rates, such as Connecticut and Maine which have fully vaccinated 76.7% and 77.6% of their respective populations, the biggest death rate contributors have only fully vaccinated a handful of its citizens, specifically:
- Indiana - 53.3% fully vaccinated
- Michigan - 58.3% fully vaccinated
- Ohio - 56.9% fully vaccinated
- Pennsylvania - 65.9% fully vaccinated
- Tennessee - 52.8% fully vaccinated
What the Numbers Tell Us
The scientific community has told us time and time again — vaccination is the key to fighting COVID-19 and achieving herd immunity. Vaccines provide protective antibodies that shield us from future infection, and when enough people have been fully vaccinated and hence, protected against COVID, the virus loses power over us.
Aside from the initial two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, studies led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also proven that a third dose or booster shot can level up protection against hospitalization by 90%. According to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, individuals with booster shots possess the highest protection against infection and hospitalization.
Those who are eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccines should do so as soon as possible, and ultimately get boosted when the time comes. Supplemented by mask-wearing, social distancing, and other basic health and safety measures, these are our best defenses against COVID-19 that will safely lead us to the end of the global pandemic.