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Study: unvaccinated Texans were 20 times more likely to die during September COVID-19 surge

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A San Antonio resident gets her jab at a mass vaccination site earlier this year. - UNIVERSITY HEALTH
  • University Health
  • A San Antonio resident gets her jab at a mass vaccination site earlier this year.
During the September surge in Delta variant cases, unvaccinated Texans were 20 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than those were fully vaccinated, according to a new study from the state's health department

The analysis, published this week by the Texas Department of State Health Services, found that 81.3% of COVID-related deaths in the state between Sept. 4 and Oct. 1 occurred among people who hadn't been jabbed. Of the remaining fatalities, 5% were among the partially vaccinated, while 13.7% were among the fully vaccinated.

The study, which was conducted to understand the effectiveness of vaccines in battling the pandemic, also found that unvaccinated Texans were 13 times more likely to test positive for the coronavirus during the same time period.

"Vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic," the study noted. "All authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the US are highly effective at protecting people from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19, including those infected with Delta and other known variants. COVID-19 vaccination can also reduce the spread of disease overall, helping to keep communities safe."

Despite the mounting evidence of vaccines' effectiveness in staving off death and hospitalizations from COVID-19, Texas' Republican leadership has continuously pushed back against vaccine mandates. 

Gov. Greg Abbott in late August issued an executive order banning all vaccine mandates in the state, and Attorney General Ken Paxton, a fellow Republican has gone to court multiple times to shut down entities that have issued them.

In the latest such action, Paxton sued the Biden administration over its order making large businesses require their workers to get vaccinated or undergo frequent testing. The rule has since been temporarily blocked by a federal appeals court.

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