The Washington Post recently reported that analysis conducted for the news outlet showed that for the first time, a majority of Americans who died from COVID-19 had received at least the first batch of the vaccine.
“We can no longer say this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Cynthia Cox, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, was quoted as saying post.
The explanation was that as vaccination rates increase and new variants emerge, the proportion of deaths among people who have been vaccinated steadily increases. And the effectiveness wears off, and many people haven’t kept up with the boosters.
Cox goes further into the post Article to list these four reasons:
• At this point in the pandemic, a large majority of Americans have received at least their first batch of coronavirus vaccines, so it makes sense that vaccinated people account for a larger proportion of deaths.
• People at greatest risk of dying from coronavirus infection, such as Older people, for example, were also more likely to receive vaccinations.
• Vaccines become less effective against the virus over time and variants emerge that are better able to resist the vaccines. Therefore, continuous booster vaccinations are required to continue to prevent disease and death.
• The BA.5 omicron subvariant became dominant in July and was consistently responsible for the majority of new coronavirus infections in the United States through earlier this month. The highly transmissible strain fueled a wave of new infections, reinfections and hospitalizations throughout the summer.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health in May either stopped tracking cases, hospitalizations and deaths by immunization status or stopped making them available to the public — and the news media — for Delaware County and all of Pennsylvania. The percentages increased in all categories at the time.
Before the advent of bivalent vaccines two months ago – designed to combat BA. 4 and BA. 5 strains that have almost been pushed out of the picture by their burlier cousins - the most recent recommendations have been a fourth booster or a fourth full dose for the immunocompromised.
Less than 10% of the Pennsylvania population had taken the fourth and was up to date.
Almost two years have passed since the first vaccination.
The stats for the fourth shots and the dual-value boosters seem reliable. Legacy statistics such as the totals in the one-shot category and the “fully vaccinated” column were “cleaned up” in 2021 to eliminate duplicates, but not in 2022.
The cumulative totals also include all people who have died en route from any cause following a COVID vaccination. They are not deleted from the totals.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caps the vaccination compliance rate for each age group at every step of the way to 95%, so that the percentage does not show that more than 100% have been vaccinated in an age group.
Using the CDC’s own numbers for Delaware County:.
566,747: county population
95,000: Estimate of population aged 65 and over, based on 16.8% of total population.
133,413: Number of those who received at least one dose of vaccine.
105,644: fully vaccinated
This week’s stats
County COVID cases were fairly flat for the week, with Pennsylvania posting its first spike in a month and the U.S. posting another spike.
Hospital admissions remained fairly flat across the county and state, with deaths remaining high, although falling statewide after most in a week in the second six-month Omicron surge.
Seven Delaware County residents died from or related to COVID, adding to 145 statewide. Last week, the county had four of the 194 deaths.
The county’s residents are 1,985 of the cumulative total of 48,271 in the state.
The total is based on place of residence, not place of death. Neither the Delaware County Health Department nor the Medical Examiner’s Office release details of cases, hospitalizations, or deaths within the county.
The initial Omicron surge tailed off in mid-February and the second surge, based on offshoots of the original Omicron, began about two months later.
These are the latest COVID statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
• 66.3 and 58.3, new case rates per 100,000 for Delco and the state, respectively
• 9.2% and 9.2%, county and state positivity rates, respectively, up at Delco and down four tenths of a point state.
• 23 hospitalized with COVID in county, one-day snapshot, flat.
• 12 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents during the week in the county, which equates to approximately 65 new patients per week, across the board.
• 1,129 hospitalized with COVID in state, almost flat.
• 1,141 additional county residents were “fully vaccinated,” totaling 431,658 across the entire nearly two-year series of immunization opportunities.
• 5,465 more county residents will receive the new bivalent boosters for a total of 78,774.
• Moderate: COVID risk in Delaware County.
• 20%: Cases attributed to BA.5 spinoff omicron variant nationwide continue to decline.
• BQ.1 and BQ1.1 now account for nearly 60% of cases in the US and mid-Atlantic. There are now 12 variants that accommodate all domestic cases.
• The first variant with a designation that does not begin with “B” is also gaining ground. XBB is at 3% of cases.
• An average of 43,583 daily cases nationwide over the past week, up 3,000 and a fifth week of modest increases.
The second Omicron surge peaked on July 16 at 129,889. The lowest week of the year was in late March, with a daily case average of 27,465. The low point after the start of the pandemic in spring 2020 was 11,745 in June 2021.
In the past week, the Chronicle of San Francisco reported that the latest variants are spreading rapidly across California and that doctors at the University of California, San Francisco have been asked to stop prescribing two monoclonal antibody treatments, evusheld and bebtelovimab, for immunocompromised COVID patients because they are resistant to aggressive viral variants are no longer effective.
The flu season got off to a flying start in Pennsylvania and across the country. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has had no new statistics for the week ended November 5 and said without comment that it would not provide new flu statistics until November 30.
The county health department does not provide statistics on the flu, although there is plenty of information on vaccinations of all kinds on its website.