As booster rates lag, analysis shows rise in deaths among vaccinated

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Wednesday, May 11, 2022
LAUSD delays COVID-19 vaccine mandate amid steady uptick in deaths
New infections and hospitalizations are steadily increasing, while new data reveals the number of vaccinated Americans dying is also on the rise.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A growing proportion of COVID-related deaths are occurring among the vaccinated, a new ABC News analysis finds.

In August of 2021, about 19% of COVID-19 deaths were occurring among the vaccinated. Six months later, that number increased to more than 40%.

In part, that may be because not enough vaccinated people, especially in the most vulnerable populations, are getting their booster shots.

Scientists say the vaccine still dramatically lowers your risk of dying. The data shows many vulnerable Americans are more than a year out from their first series of shots and have not been boosted.

Experts said it is especially important for the elderly, immune-compromised and high-risk groups to get booster doses to further drive down that risk.

The bottom line: If you're eligible, get boosted.

There is still a much higher risk for those who have not been vaccinated at all.

Unvaccinated people were about 20 times more likely to die of COVID-19 and seven times more likely to require hospitalization than fully vaccinated and boosted adults.

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Meanwhile, a new subvariant is also growing in frequency. Officials say nearly half of new cases are the BA.2.12.1 variant. Scientists said it has about a 25% growth advantage above the previous omicron subvariant.

On average, nearly 2,400 virus-positive Americans are being admitted to hospitals each day, which is up 17% in the last week.

"While we've seen this surge in cases, we're not seeing that correlated impact in mortality," said Dr. John Brownstein, ABC News contributor and epidemiologist with Boston Children's Hospital.

LAUSD delays vaccine mandate

The Los Angeles Unified School District decided this week to delay implementation of its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for eligible students until at least July 1, 2023. It's a move that lines up with the state's timeline to impose a mandate for students.

Angry parents of mostly unvaccinated LAUSD students, who are worried a vaccine mandate would keep their kids out of the classroom, spoke out at Tuesday's LAUSD Board of Education meeting.

"Children are at very low risk. The environment of fear that this is creating for these kids is much worse," said one mother.

Even with high rates of vaccination among students, officials say there are still roughly 30,000 who have not received the shots. The vaccine mandate for district employees remains in place.

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If the proposal that advanced Thursday becomes law, California would allow the youngest people of any state to be vaccinated without parental permission.