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75% of COVID-19 deaths have 'at least four comorbidities'


Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

CDC director faces criticism from all sides over statement

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is being criticized from all sides over comments she made last week in an interview.

Appearing on ABC News to discuss Omicron variant death statistics, Walensky was asked about a new CDC study that found COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death. The study looked at more than 1 million people who completed primary vaccination (two shots, no booster, or one Johnson & Johnson shot) between December 2020 and October 2021. Researchers found that "severe COVID-19-associated outcomes" occurred only in only 0.015% of vaccinated people. Deaths were rare, happening in only 0.0033% of cases.

"Severe COVID-19 outcomes were defined as hospitalization with a diagnosis of acute respiratory failure, need for noninvasive ventilation (NIV), admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) including all persons requiring invasive mechanical ventilation, or death (including discharge to hospice)," the study said. "Among 1,228,664 persons who completed primary vaccination during December 2020–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)."


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