Back in July of 2021, the Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, announced that Covid-19 had become “a pandemic of the unvaccinated”1.
Numerous people have seen this as a bald statement indicating that transmission of the virus occurs almost entirely in the unvaccinated, and they pointed out that this was incorrect. However, if they had read beyond the headlines, they would have seen that Walensky continued: “The good news is that if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected against severe COVID, hospitalization, and death, and are even protected against the known variants — including the Delta variant — circulating in the country. If you are not vaccinated, you remain at risk. And our biggest concern is that we are going to continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations, and, sadly, deaths among the unvaccinated.”2
Of course, the anti-vaccination nutters have latched on to the responses to this misreading of Walensky’s statement as proof that being vaccinated does not protect you from the worst effects of Covid-19. They are wrong.
According to US data (from early December, 2021), if you are unvaccinated you are about 9 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than if you are fully vaccinated3. Australian data shows that in late December, 2021, 75.21% of the entire Australian population had received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, 1.16% had received one dose, and 8.91% had received no effective dose (i.e. were unvaccinated or had received one dose less than 21 days before exposure). At the time, 14.8% of the population were ineligible (i.e. 11 years or less in age). When you look at deaths from Covid-19, 16.22% of those that have died were fully vaccinated, 12.84% had one dose, and 70.95% had no effective dose. So, 70.95% of the deaths from Covid-19 come from 8.91% of the population4. It has indeed become a pandemic killing a much larger proportion of the unvaccinated than the vaccinated.