New State Data Shows Vaccines Impact on COVID

Covid-19 vaccination record card with syringe and vial
COVID-19 vaccination record card with vaccine. | Image by Bill Oxford

New data from a Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) study was released on November 8. The study’s goal was to determine the vaccine’s effects on COVID-19 cases and deaths in Texas.   

The study focused on the period between January 15 and October 1. The findings show that unvaccinated Texans make up most cases and deaths from the virus in that period.     

According to the study’s findings, only 8% of the nearly 29,000 Texans who died from COVID-related illnesses were fully vaccinated against the virus, and 7% were partially vaccinated. This means that unvaccinated people were almost 20 times more likely to die from a COVID-19 infection than fully immunized patients.     

DSHS conducted the study by matching electronic lab reports and death certificates with the state’s immunization registry data.    

These findings confirm what many health officials have been saying for months. The COVID-19 vaccine substantially reduces death and is the best tool against the spread of the virus.  

“We’ve known for a while that vaccines were going to have a protective effect on a large segment of our population,” Dr. Jennifer A. Shuford, state epidemiologist, told the Texas Tribune. “By looking at our own population and seeing what the impact of the vaccines have been on that population, we’re hoping just to be able to reach people here in Texas and show them the difference that being fully vaccinated can make in their lives and for their communities.”    

The study also focused on the period between September 4 and October 1, when the Delta variant was prevalent in the state.

The study determined that during that time, 81.3% of COVID-19 related deaths were among unvaccinated people. In contrast, only 5% of deaths were among the partially vaccinated, and 13.7% were among fully vaccinated people.     

“Texas is a unique place. It’s got a lot of diversity, geographic and population-wise,” Shuford said. “We know that some people want to see actual numbers and that they want to see it for their own community. And so we are hoping that this reaches some of those people who have been hesitant and really just questioning the benefits of the vaccines.”

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