covid vaccine
Arizona Health Department Excluded Comorbidities From Unvaccinated, Vaccinated Fatalities Comparison

January 16, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

Absent from the Arizona Department of Health (ADHS) report last week that unvaccinated individuals were 31.1 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than their vaccinated peers were any comorbidities. ADHS also claimed that the unvaccinated were nearly five times as likely to test positive for COVID-19. ADHS disclosed that they omitted length of time since vaccination and other demographics in addition to underlying conditions.

In similar sample studies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study indicating that comorbidities exacerbated the effects of the virus — even for the vaccinated. In the study released last week, the CDC found that 78 percent of the 36 vaccinated individuals who died had four or more comorbidities. All of the nearly 200 people who experienced a severe outcome from COVID-19 had at least one comorbidity.

“Among 1,228,664 persons who completed primary vaccination during December 2020 [through] October 2021, a total of 2,246 (18.0 per 10,000 vaccinated persons) developed COVID-19 and 189 (1.5 per 10,000) had a severe outcome, including 36 who died (0.3 deaths per 10,000),” read the report.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stirred controversy by remarking on the study to ABC on their show “Good Morning America.” Walensky cited the fact that the overwhelming majority of deaths from vaccinated individuals that contracted COVID-19 within the study had multiple comorbidities. 

“The overwhelming number of deaths, over 75 percent, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities, so really these are people who were unwell to begin with,” said Walensky.

In response to uproar over her comments, ABC updated their interview with Walensky to include an extended version in which she discussed the data within the context of the study. 

One major comorbidity shared by nearly two-thirds of the nation is excess weight: approximately 42 percent of adults are obese, with another 30 percent overweight. The CDC warned that obesity increases the likelihood of serious illness from COVID-19.

The ADHS report preceded this week’s major developments on the pandemic that appeared to have turned the tide on the nation’s approach to perceiving and responding to COVID-19. 

On Thursday, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) struck down President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate requiring employers with 100 or more employees to mandate the vaccine or weekly testing. 

Prior to that, major news outlets such as the Associated Press and The Atlantic updated their internal guidance on COVID-19 coverage to eradicate mention of case numbers. The outlets asserted that the case counts weren’t high enough because they relied on reportable cases by health authorities, not at-home tests or those that don’t get tested because they’re asymptomatic. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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