ARIZONA NEWS

Unvaccinated Arizonans had 31.1 times greater risk of dying from COVID in November

Jan 5, 2022, 1:00 PM | Updated: 1:39 pm

PHOENIX – Arizonans who weren’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19 were 31.1 times more likely to die of the virus in November than those who were and 4.9 times more likely to test positive, according to data released Wednesday.

The new numbers were part of the Arizona Department of Health Services’ bi-weekly report on COVID rates by vaccination status.

“There simply is no arguing with the data: COVID-19 vaccines and boosters save lives,” ADHS Interim Director Don Herrington wrote in a blog post.

The unvaccinated risks were significantly higher than ADHS reported for October, when it was 15.2 times for death and 3.9 times for infection, in part because of a methodology change.

“This shift has to do with a change in methodology to better capture fully vaccinated individuals and may also be impacted by booster uptake,” Herrington wrote.

Although Wednesday’s report covers a timeframe before omicron emerged, hospitals are still reporting that a vast majority of COVID patients are unvaccinated.

And even though omicron is proving to produce less severe illness than previous variants, officials are worried it will create a caseload so large that hospitalizations and deaths will still rise.

Dr. Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute, said that while vaccines provide significant protection from severe illness and death from omicron, the variant is causing a high rate of breakthrough infections in people who haven’t had a booster shot.

“If you get a booster dose, then the protection goes from roughly 25% to over 75%, so a huge bump in protection from a booster vaccine,” he said in a press briefing Wednesday.

“This is just a plea for ‘it’s much better to prevent this disease than to try to treat it.'”

The state dashboard on Wednesday showed 70% of Arizonans old enough to get vaccinated had received at least one shot, with 58.8% fully vaccinated. The ADHS dashboard doesn’t show booster data.

The minimum age to receive the Pfizer shot is 5, and it’s 18 for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The Pfizer version has full Food and Drug Administration approval, while the other two were granted emergency use authorization.

Health officials strongly recommend booster shots for adults (including people 16 and older for Pfizer) who received their second Moderna dose more than six months ago, their second Pfizer does more than five months ago or the Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago.

For details about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with locations and other information.

For information about metro Phoenix vaccine availability, Maricopa County Public Health has a locator page that lists pharmacies, government-run sites, health clinics and pop-up distribution events. Appointments may be required depending on the provider.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Stage 2 fire restrictions set to begin this week across Arizona due to wildfire threat

Stage 2 fire restrictions are set to begin across Arizona this week due to heightened wildfire activity and dry conditions, officials said.
1 day ago
(Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Arizona appeals court says ban on per-signature initiative is illegal

A 2017 law that makes it a crime to pay people for each signature they collect to qualify voter initiatives for the ballot violates the First Amendment and the first criminal case filed using the law must be dismissed, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Suspect in custody after allegedly exchanging gunfire with Phoenix police

A suspect was in custody after allegedly exchanging gunfire with police in north Phoenix on Tuesday, authorities said.
1 day ago
Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting, Tuesday, May 2...
KTAR.com

Arizona politicians react to mass shooting at elementary school in Texas

Arizona politicians reacted Tuesday to a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two adults dead. 
1 day ago
FILE - Water drips from a faucet near boat docks sitting on dry land at the Browns Ravine Cove area...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: How cities in the West have water amid drought

Major Western cities like Phoenix have diversified water sources and boosted supplies through infrastructure investments and conservation.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Lines)...
Danny Shapiro

Yuma border migrant backlog an ongoing problem despite Title 42 extension, official says

Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines said the border community continues to deal with an influx of migrants that want to come to the U.S.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to in April

April brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Suns and Diamondbacks.
Unvaccinated Arizonans had 31.1 times greater risk of dying from COVID in November