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Herrington: COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are saving lives in Arizona

Posted 1/6/22

Our latest report on COVID-19 outcomes by vaccination status offers even more evidence that vaccines are saving lives. In November, those who weren’t vaccinated were 31.1 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the fully vaccinated.

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Opinions

Herrington: COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are saving lives in Arizona

Posted

Our latest report on COVID-19 outcomes by vaccination status offers even more evidence that vaccines are saving lives.

In November, those who weren’t vaccinated were 31.1 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the fully vaccinated.

They also were 4.9 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19. This is a big change from October, when the unvaccinated were 15.2 times more likely to die from COVID-19 and 3.9 times more likely to get the disease, as shown by our incidence rate ratio.

This shift has to do with a change in methodology to better capture fully vaccinated individuals and may also be impacted by booster uptake. In the latest twice-monthly report posted atop our COVID-19 Data Dashboard, you’ll see bigger gaps on the cases graphs for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals — both overall and by age groups.

It’s difficult to see the difference in deaths overall and by age group because it’s so rare for fully vaccinated individuals to die from COVID-19.

If you remain undecided about getting the vaccine, the data makes a strong case for getting a lifesaving shot that can spare you from severe illness, long-haul COVID, and more. It’s free, safe, widely available, and, as the evidence clearly shows, highly effective.

If you are vaccinated, please use this report as a reason to get a booster dose as soon as you are eligible — that’s at least six months after your second Moderna dose, five months after your second Pfizer dose (per a recent update to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance), and two months after the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen shot.

There simply is no arguing with the data: COVID-19 vaccines and boosters save lives. Please visit azhealth.gov/FindVaccine to find a provider today.

Editor’s note: Don Herrington is interim director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. Learn more at azdhs.gov.

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