CNN: “Since Covid-19 vaccines became widely available, there has been a wide gap in deaths between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. But recent Covid deaths are much more evenly split as highly transmissible variants take hold, vaccine protection wanes and booster uptake stagnates. Breakthrough infections have become more common in recent months, putting vulnerable populations at increased risk of severe disease or death as more and more transmissible variants continue to spread. This seems to be especially true for seniors in the United States, who were among the first to get their initial vaccine series. In the second half of September – the height of the Delta wave – less than a quarter of all Covid-19 deaths were among vaccinated people, federal data shows. But in January and February, amid the Omicron surge, more than 40% of Covid-19 deaths were among vaccinated people. Covid-19 vaccines have saved millions of lives in the United States since the first shot was administered in December 2020, and the unvaccinated are still far more likely to be hospitalized or die than people who are vaccinated with at least two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. But evidence continues to build around the critical importance of booster shots.
Of those vaccinated people who died from a breakthrough case of Covid-19 in January and February, less than a third had gotten a booster shot, according to a CNN analysis of data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The remaining two-thirds had only received their primary series. Overall, the risk of dying from Covid-19 is still about five times higher for unvaccinated people than it is for those vaccinated with at least their primary series, CDC data shows. But there’s a significant disparity by level of vaccination, too: When adjusted for age, people vaccinated with only their initial series faced about three times greater risk of dying than those who also have their booster shot. The CDC encourages people to be “up-to-date” on Covid-19 vaccinations – which includes getting boosters at the appropriate time – but still defines a person to be “fully vaccinated” if they’ve received at least their initial vaccination series…”