This Delta wave just rips through the unvaccinated. The deaths that have followed the wide availability of vaccines are absolutely needless. — Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan
This Delta wave just rips through the unvaccinated. The deaths that have followed the wide availability of vaccines are absolutely needless. — Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan
U.S. Covid Death Toll Surpassed 700,000 Despite Availability of Vaccines
The United States surpassed 700,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, a milestone that few experts had anticipated months ago when vaccines became widely available to the American public.

An overwhelming majority of Americans who have died in recent months, a period in which the country has offered broad access to shots, were unvaccinated. The United States has had one of the highest recent death rates of any country with an ample supply of vaccines.

The new and alarming surge of deaths this summer means that the coronavirus pandemic has become the deadliest in American history, overtaking the toll from the influenza pandemic of 1918 and 1919, which killed about 675,000 people.

“This Delta wave just rips through the unvaccinated,” said Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan. The deaths that have followed the wide availability of vaccines, he added, are “absolutely needless.”


The recent virus deaths are distinct from those in previous chapters of the pandemic, an analysis by The New York Times shows. People who died in the last three and a half months were concentrated in the South, a region that has lagged in vaccinations; many of the deaths were reported in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. And those who died were younger: In August, every age group under 55 had its highest death toll of the pandemic.

... The United States government has not closely tracked the vaccination status of everyone who has been infected with the virus, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has so far identified 2,900 people who were vaccinated among the 100,000 who died of Covid since mid-June.

Vaccines have been proven highly effective in preventing severe illness and death, and a study from the C.D.C. that was published in September found that after Delta became the dominant variant, unvaccinated people were more than 10 times as likely to die of the virus as the vaccinated were. The study, which spanned from April to mid-July, used data from 10 states, New York City, Los Angeles County and King County, Wash., which includes Seattle.

... The Delta surge has hit working-age Americans particularly hard. Older Americans are still more susceptible to the virus but have benefited from their willingness to be vaccinated: People 65 and older, who have been among the most vulnerable to serious illness from the virus, have the highest rate of vaccination of all age groups, at 83 percent fully vaccinated, according to the C.D.C.

... The wave of Delta deaths has been particularly high in rural areas of the South, where vaccination rates trail those of nearby metropolitan areas. Even though the raw number of Covid-19 deaths is higher in metropolitan areas because their populations are larger, the share of people dying of the virus in rural areas has been much greater.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/01/us/us-covid-deaths-700k.html