The evidence is in: Fully vaccinated people are less likely to become infected with COVID-19 and 16 times less likely to end up in Intensive Care (ICU) or die if they do contract the virus during a major outbreak.
The figures, contained in the latest NSW Health In Focus report, leave anti-vaxxers with embarrassingly few excuses to have not rolled up their sleeve to get the jab – for both themselves and society.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the latest figures show hospitalisations, ICU admissions and deaths were all far lower among the fully vaccinated population during the Delta outbreak’s peak.
“The COVID-19 Delta outbreak has been the biggest challenge the state has faced during the pandemic because of its transmissibility. However, this report shows vaccination has been key in protecting ourselves, our families, and the community from the harmful effects of the virus,” she said.
Of the 412 people who died after contracting the virus from June 16 to October 7, only 11 per cent (47 people) had received two doses of a vaccine. Of these 47 people, their average age was 82. 29 people were residents of aged care facilities and the other 18 people had significant underlying health issues.
Dr Chant said ICU admissions and deaths peaked from September 8 to 21 during the outbreak, with unvaccinated individuals more than 16 times more likely to end up in ICU or die during this period.
“COVID-19 cases peaked from August 25 to September 7, with the rate among fully vaccinated people at 49.5 per 100,000, while in unvaccinated people it was 561 per 100,000, a more than 10-fold difference,” she said.
“Notably, young people with two doses of a vaccine experienced lower rates of infection and almost no serious disease, while those unvaccinated in this age group were at greater risk of developing COVID-19 and needing hospitalisation.”
The latest vaccination figures released on Monday show that 92.1 per cent of the eligible population in the Penrith LGA is now double dosed against COVID. More than 95 per cent have had their first dose.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.