Arizona health official: Fully vaccinated are 10 times less likely to die from COVID

Aug 5, 2022, 4:35 AM
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 21: A VIP StarNETWORK medical staff member administers a Pfizer-BioNTe...
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 21: A VIP StarNETWORK medical staff member administers a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine at a #VAXTOSCHOOL pop-up site at Life of (File Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
(File Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Amid a highly-contagious subvariant of COVID-19 becoming the dominant strain in Arizona, the state’s health department said recent data showed fully vaccinated individuals were 10 times less likely to die from the virus.

The data comes from the Arizona Department of Health Services’ monthly study of COVID-19 outcomes by vaccination status for June, with those who were fully vaccinated that also had a booster getting even more protection.

It was also found those fully vaccinated against the virus were 8.4 times less likely to be hospitalized, with people who also got the booster being 9.8 times less likely to be hospitalized.

The chance of having a less severe result from COVID-19 by being fully vaccinated differed in May, when the rate was 15 times less likely to die from the virus.

Don Herrington, interim director with the Arizona Department of Health Services, said in a blog post that the difference comes down to vaccine immunity.

“This shows why we in public health so strongly recommend making sure you are vaccinated and up to date on booster doses,” he said. “As time progresses after vaccination and new variants emerge, immunity begins to wane.”

He recommends a booster shot for those fully vaccinated, and a second booster for those 50 or older to make sure they are as protected as possible.

Herrington said the report comes as those age 65 and older make up a larger share of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths since February compared to the winter surge.

“It may seem repetitive to read each month that COVID-19 vaccines and boosters continue proving their ability to guard against severe outcomes, including death,” he said. “But the story behind the data is so important.

“People continue to get severely ill and die from COVID-19 and you are far more likely to avoid long COVID, the hospital or worse if you are protected by vaccination. We will continue sharing this truth.”

People can find vaccine providers on the department of health’s website.

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Arizona health official: Fully vaccinated are 10 times less likely to die from COVID