COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective at preventing infections and deaths, especially among young people, according to new data from the US. This holds true even for the more-contagious Delta variant.
Since the beginning of August, statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control indicate that unvaccinated people between the ages of 12-17 were about 10 times more likely to test positive for COVID than their vaccinated peers.
(Editor’s Note: The rates in this story are not ‘raw numbers’ of cases, but indicate the number of cases per 100,000 people. So, for example, these rates are comparable over time, even as more people become vaccinated.)
The CDC doesn’t show data on COVID deaths for that age group, but for 18-29 year olds, unvaccinated people were more than 30 times more likely to die from COVID than vaccinated people.
Public health authorities from the state of Texas (which has a population of about 29 million people), recently issued a report on COVID cases and deaths by vaccination status in 2021, focussing on 4 Sept.-1 Oct., when Delta had become the prevalent variant of COVID there.
The Texas data show that during the month of September, unvaccinated people were 13 times more likely to test positive for COVID than vaccinated people, and unvaccinated people were 20 times more likely to die of COVID than unvaccinated people.
As in the nationwide stats, the Texas data indicate that the vaccines were comparatively more effective for younger people age 12-17.
Unvaccinated people in that younger age group in Texas were 22 times more likely to test positive for COVID than vaccinated people.
Also like the US stats, the Texas report does not include information on COVID deaths for the younger age group. Report authors state that is because so few young people died from COVID during that time.
According to the Texas report, “[T]he relatively smaller number of deaths among younger age groups made the impact estimate less stable and more difficult to interpret. Because the total number of deaths among the 12 to 17 age group was so small, it was not presented separately.”
Among the 18-29 year old age group, unvaccinated people were 37 times more likely to die from COVID than vaccinated people.
The Cayman Islands community is experiencing its first true widespread COVID outbreak. Cayman has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with nearly 80% of the population having received at least two doses of the COVID jab, and the vaccination rate among middle-aged and older people being north of 90%.
Despite the relatively small proportion of unvaccinated people, some 85% of people currently in the hospital for COVID are unvaccinated, according to Cayman News Service.
As of Tuesday, none of the 14 COVID patients in the hospital were on ventilators or required ‘enhanced respiratory support’. Five were receiving supplementary oxygen.