An earlier version of this article’s headline did not specify the study was confined to patients who died in August 2022. We regret the error.
Conducted for The Washington Post’s The Health 202 by Cynthia Cox — who is vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation — the results are the first time this has been the case since the novel virus was first tracked in 2020.
“We can no longer say this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Cox told The Health 202.
The announcement is just the latest data point in a continuing trend: While more people are taking the vaccine, new variants continue to develop and Americans receiving the latest booster continues to be a slow process.
This is an issue because vaccines lose efficacy against the virus over time.
An analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that regular booster shots are needed to keep the risk of death from COVID-19 low.
It also explains why deaths of people who were vaccinated went from 23% in September of 2021 to 42% in January and February of 2022. according to a Washington Post study.
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and chief medical adviser for the White House, alluded to the lack of booster enthusiasm and stressed the importance of Americans receiving the recently authorized omicron-specific boosters in his last White House briefing Wednesday before retirement,
“The final message I give you from this podium is that, please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible,” he said.
Whether President Joe Biden’s administration can rally the country around the idea of adopting the booster is yet to be seen, as there have been signs of Americans no longer caring about COVID-19.