Why Do Vaccinated People Represent Most COVID-19 Deaths Right Now?

In Sept. 2021, President Joe Biden declared a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and blamed this on the roughly 80 million Americans who failed to get the COVID-19 shot.

However, by 2022, vaccinated people made up the majority of the population, with about 79 percent of adults having completed at least their initial shots.

The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data now find the majority of adults dying of COVID-19 are vaccinated or boosted.

60 Percent of COVID-Related Deaths Among the Vaccinated

An alarming trend has become apparent: Vaccinated and boosted individuals account for a sharply increasing proportion of deaths from COVID-19.

Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) showed in an analysis posted on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, that about 4 in 10 COVID-related deaths were among the vaccinated or boosted by January 2022.

The most recent analysis of CDC data by KFF finds 6 out of 10 COVID-related deaths from April to August 2022 were among people with some level of vaccination.

According to KFF, this is due to a variety of factors relating to how many people were vaccinated earlier in the pandemic when the shots were first made available.

When the vaccines were first rolled out, people who received their initial series of injections represented only a small share of total deaths, because they were such a small number compared to the unvaccinated majority.

But that share was expected to rise as vaccinated people represented a growing share of the U.S. population. Ultimately, if everyone in the United States was vaccinated, then vaccinated people would represent 100 percent of COVID-19 deaths. The same would be observed among those who received a booster dose.

This is because some people who are up to date with vaccines will still get COVID-19, incidents which are considered “breakthrough infections.” As the CDC states, COVID-19 vaccination is effective at preventing severe illness and death, but the shots are not perfect.

Vaccine Benefit Has Become Marginal

The rising share of the vaccinated population is only one factor and doesn’t seem to explain all the increased deaths among vaccinated people over the last year.

KFF concluded that vaccination rates have only grown slightly during this time, yet the number of vaccinated people dying rose more steeply.

Another possible reason we’re seeing increased deaths among the vaccinated is that even in 2021, one study showed vaccine effectiveness waned significantly over time for all adults.

This effect was most pronounced in the older age groups, particularly in those between 40- and 59-years-old, and in those 80 and older.

Effectiveness of mRNA vaccines BMJ 
Effectiveness of mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection during the Delta phase by age group and priority risk category, Italy, July 19 to Nov. 7, 2021. The British Medical Journal

“The data is suggesting that at this point, with the vast majority of the population having had contact with either the infection or the vaccine, the effects of the vaccine are marginal,” Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, an expert in long COVID and post-viral chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, told The Epoch Times.

An Israeli study found vaccine efficacy dropped to the same as three doses just months afterward, while research funded by Moderna found their COVID vaccine’s effectiveness actually became negative over time.

Is Modern Medicine Causing More Harm Than Good?

The updated (bivalent) booster shots became widely available in September 2022, and uptake of those vaccinations has been slow throughout the country.

Dr. Robert G. Lahita, director of the Institute for Autoimmune and Rheumatic Disease at Saint Joseph Health, said the new booster is a tough sell because people are sick of vaccinations.

“People were told that the vaccine would prevent infection and it did not,” he continued. “The man in the street sees only his family and friends sick over and over again and they have all been vaccinated, so he says ‘what’s the point?’”

Teitelbaum also pointed out the possible limitations of modern medicine.

He said there are four areas where modern medicine has clearly been of benefit: antibiotics, acute surgical care, correctly used vaccines (smallpox, tetanus), and public hygiene.

“For many of the others, it’s often a toss-up whether our modern medical system causes more harm than good,” he said. Regardless, Lahita noted that turning our population—and especially our children—into “pincushions for more and more vaccines” isn’t the best idea.

“What I have found in my 50 years in medicine is that, as people take more and more boosters of the same vaccine, I see greater toxicity,” he noted.

An example of this would be the hepatitis B vaccine, where receiving more than two doses was associated with a number of cases in which Teitelbaum observed patients develop chronic fatigue syndrome.

Teitelbaum considers the two initial COVID-vaccine doses reasonable for people over 50 or who have diabetes, cancer, or other severe illnesses, or for children with leukemia or other severe diseases. However, he thinks it’s a mistake to give the vaccine to healthy children because their risk of death from infection is so low and the risks of the vaccines are still unknown.

Optimizing Your Immunity

Experts still have no idea why some people, vaccinated or not, have more severe COVID infections.

Lahita said this might be due to factors like genetics and a person’s overall lifestyle.

For example, obesity is associated with impaired immune function, as is type 2 diabetes. Both conditions are common in the United States and are lifestyle-related.

More severe COVID infections may also involve factors like someone’s individual gut microbiome, his or her environment, or particular immunogenetics (genetic basis of our immune response), said Lahita.

The recent COVID-19 outbreak in China also raises concerns.

China’s current COVID-19 outbreak is led by the Omicron subvariants BA.5.2 and BF.7, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Jan. 4, 2023. Chinese data also show no new coronavirus variant has yet been identified, while also underrepresenting how many people have died in the rapidly spreading outbreak.

According to the most recent data, nearly 90 percent of the Chinese mainland population has been fully vaccinated.

“The Chinese outbreaks are worrisome,” explained Lahita, “because the virus tends to upregulate and mutate in large infected groups.” This could bring about a new spike in COVID-19 infections worldwide, as new variants appear—against which we’ll have no naturally acquired or vaccine-induced protection.

“I expect a new and possibly lethal variant for the near future,” Lahita warned.

Teitelbaum emphasized the importance of optimizing our immunity. He said this could easily be done by:

  • Sleeping a full eight hours every night, as sleep deprivation is a powerful way to suppress immunity.
  • Staying hydrated, but not with sugary drinks, which can suppress immunity.

Several key nutrients, especially zinc and vitamin D, are critical for dramatically improving immunity and outcomes in infections in general, especially in COVID-19.

“Personally, during COVID outbreaks (or when I had the infection), I take a mix of elderberry along with these nutrients,” said Teitelbaum.

George Citroner reports on health and medicine, covering topics that include cancer, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative conditions. He was awarded the Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) award in 2020 for a story on osteoporosis risk in men.
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