The Virginia Department of Health is now publishing a graph that compares the COVID-19 infection rate by vaccination status. The graph above, based on 2021 data, shows that unvaccinated people have confirmed COVID-19 infections at a rate 4.6 times that of fully vaccinated people and 2.2 times that of partially vaccinated people.
Here is the comparison for hospitalizations:
Unvaccinated people were hospitalized for COVID-19 at a rate 4.4 times that of fully vaccinated people and 1.4 times that of partially vaccinated people.
And here is the comparison for deaths:
Unvaccinated Virginians died of COVID-19 at 4.3 times that of fully vaccinated people and 1.4 times that of the partially vaxxed.
Bacon’s bottom line: There are three important lessons here.
Lesson #1. Getting vaccinated does not eliminate your risk. Actually, that was clear from the very beginning. Pfizer claimed 95% efficacy for its vaccine. That left 5% of the population for whom it wouldn’t work. The VDH database has recorded nearly 60,000 so-called “breakthrough” infections, 2,046 hospitalizations, and 744 deaths for Virginians with vaccinations. No surprise.
Lesson #2. Notwithstanding lesson #1, getting vaccinated still lessens your odds of getting infected, being hospitalized, or dying by a factor of four.
Lesson #3. If you haven’t gotten all of your jabs, you’re receiving only a fraction of the protection you could if you were fully vaccinated. Keep up with your shots!
A couple of complaints: First, the database does not distinguish between unvaccinated people who have survived COVID and developed natural antibodies and those who have not.
Second, I’d like to see comparisons between vaxxed and unvaxxed within the same age range. The vaccinated tend to be older people who are at greater risk due to age and comorbidity factors than the unvaccinated. If the comparison were made between similar age groups, the differential infection rates could well be wider.