CDC: Unvaccinated people now make up almost all COVID-19 deaths

CDC: Unvaccinated people now make up almost all COVID-19 deaths

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Unvaccinated people are now making up almost all COVID-19 deaths, that’s according to an analysis of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.  

Area doctors say the efficacy COVID vaccines are showing in real world situations is unprecedented.  

“Half a year in, the actual outcome data is supporting what the clinical trials were saying,” said Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer at UW-Health.  

Dr. Pothof says at this point in the pandemic, COVID-19 is a preventable disease. An analysis of CDC data by Associated Press shows out of 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May, only 150, or 0.8-percent, were vaccinated individuals.  

“The people who are at the hospital with COVID-19, 99.9-percent, not making that up — 99.9-percent, are unvaccinated,” Dr. Pothof adds.  

He says the other 0.1-percent vaccinated who are coming in, tend to be patients with severely compromised immune systems. Hospitals are still testing patients who come in, even if they have been vaccinated.  

“Typically, if we say hey, are you vaccinated? We still test for COVID, but we’re pretty sure it’s going to come back negative. We just don’t see those tests popping positive at this point,” said Dr. Pothof.  

Dr. Pothof says COVID-19 vaccine accessibility has also increased tremendously, with pharmacies and organizations offering them in the area.  

Concordia University in Mequon announced Pfizer vaccination appointments from Monday to Thursday through August.  

“We have a beautiful campus here, we’re right on the lake and people can make a day of it, come up and have lunch on the bluff and get their vaccine,” said Pollyanna Kabara, physician assistant program director at Concordia University Mequon. 

Kabara says aside from protecting yourself, you’re protecting others.  

“If you think of like infants and young children, they’re unable to get vaccinated, so we really need to take advantage of the vaccine for the people who are old enough to get vaccinated, in order to protect those who are young,” she adds.  

Dr. Pothof says people can believe what they want to believe, but at this point, if some still don’t want to get vaccinated, that could be a risky ideological choice. 

“You’re ideologically opposed to getting this vaccine and at this point, it has to be something that you’re willing to die for, because by getting this vaccine, it could save your life,” he says.  

To schedule an appointment, visit http://bit.ly/VaccineAtCUW and complete an interest form or call (262) 243-2221. 

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