Unvaccinated People Still at High Risk of COVID-19

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Experts say the reopening of theme parks and other businesses this summer puts unvaccinated people at higher risk for COVID-19. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images
  • Experts raise concerns about the risks unvaccinated people run, even with COVID-19 cases declining in the United States.
  • Concerns are compounded by the Delta variety, which is more contagious and potentially more dangerous than other strains.
  • Experts note that the novel coronavirus is no longer circulating as heavily as more people are being vaccinated, as was the case earlier in the pandemic.

The coronavirus is keeping parts of the world in suspense while others are almost declaring victory over COVID-19 and reopening stores.

California Governor Gavin Newsom explained this week that the most populous state in the United States is open for business again as it lifted most of the physical distancing and masking requirements.

Newsom announced The state abandoned its color-coded tiered reopening system and spent $ 116 million Awards to Californians who received their vaccines.

“California is open again,” said Newsom at the entrance to Universal Studios in Los Angeles, flanked by yellow pill-shaped minions and Optimus Prime.

California’s reopening comes as 56 percent of the population are considered fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

Still, California and other parts of the world are not in a protective bubble and remain vulnerable to the pandemic.

The Washington Post found cases of COVID-19 increase in places where vaccination rates stay low and decrease where more people get their vaccinations.

While the vaccines available are proving to be highly effective at preventing people from developing severe cases of COVID-19, virtually all of the new infections in the United States are hospitalization-related infections People who are not vaccinated.

Experts also keep an eye on the spread of mutations in the virus, such as: Delta variantwhich has been shown to be more contagious and causing more serious symptoms. This variant comes from India, where a Wave of infection besieged the country last month.

While countries like Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States boast more than half of their population with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, India’s numbers stay below 20 percent.

Dr. Tom Peace, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wrote on his blog June 17th that the Delta variant is now spreading in at least 62 countries, including the USA. A few weeks ago, he wrote, Delta accounted for 2 percent of cases in the US, but that is now up to 6 percent and “the proportion of all infections will continue to grow rapidly, especially in areas of the country and demographics that have” lower vaccination rates to have.”

“The good news is that people who are fully vaccinated are likely to be well protected against the variants identified so far, including the Delta variant – especially when it comes to serious illnesses,” wrote Frieden. “However, people who are only partially vaccinated are only partially protected.”

The spread of the Delta and other variants has worried experts that unvaccinated people could pass on the more potent and dangerous versions of the virus in the coming months.

This is of particular concern as the current COVID-19 vaccines can only be given to people 12 years and older with emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

So what are the chances of developing a severe case of COVID-19 in the next 3 months if you are not vaccinated?

Dr. David Cutler, a family doctor at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., says he’s not even sure this question deserves an answer because it evades the real question: Why isn’t someone vaccinated yet?

“Also, the question ignores the far more important question of whether getting COVID means getting mild or asymptomatic COVID or getting severe or fatal COVID,” Cutler told Healthline. “And the question doesn’t take into account the many sources of individual variability and statistical uncertainty that could affect whether certain people get COVID.”

Cutler said that before vaccines were available, a person in the United States had a 1 in 10 chance of developing COVID-19 disease over the course of a year, but these risks could change if precautions are relaxed.

“For most of the last year there has been varying degrees of masking, social distancing, and lockdown restrictions,” he said. “Now society is opening up, which is theoretically increasing [an unvaccinated person’s] Risk of contagion. ”

Although the supply of vaccines has exceeded demand in the United States, certain factors continue to increase the likelihood that an unvaccinated person will contract the novel coronavirus and develop a severe case of COVID-19.

Cutler says this includes disadvantaged groups and people from lower socioeconomic strata who are more likely to suffer from COVID-19 than wealthy white or Asian people.

“It could be because of their jobs, their living conditions, or other social determinants of health,” he said.

Another reason can be inequalities in health care.

The 7-day moving average The number of new infections with COVID-19 in the United States is lower than it has ever been in the past year, so the chances of coming into contact with someone with the coronavirus are lower.

“Since about half of the US population is immune from vaccination, it eliminates many chances of infection,” Cutler said. “Many people have some immunity to a previous COVID infection, so these are additional people who are unlikely to transmit an infection now, even though they may have transmitted it in the past.”

As the United States and other countries seek immunity to the novel coronavirus, Cutler and other experts continue to urge people to get vaccinated. Vaccination not only protects the recipient but also those around them, which “benefits society as a whole and enables everyone to return to normal life more quickly,” he said.

“People around the world are dying to get COVID vaccines,” Cutler said. “I don’t understand why people would waste their time calculating the likelihood of getting COVID in the next 3 months if they weren’t vaccinated instead of figuring out how to get a vaccine as soon as possible. “

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