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Why health officials are begging people to get vaccinated

Research shows more than 4,700 lives could have been saved in Texas and Florida this year.

HOUSTON — It feels like every time you hear a health official talk lately they are begging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Let’s take a closer look at why they are being so persistent.

Scientists examined death rates

Right now, Texas and Florida are getting hit hard by the delta variant, seeing a surge in cases and hospitalizations. Now a team of epidemiologists and data scientists have taken a closer look at the numbers and found close to 5,000 lives could have been saved if those two states had higher vaccination rates.

Compared with higher vaccinations

So how did the scientists at the Commonwealth Fund come up with that number? They compared hospitalization and death rates in states with high vaccination rates like Vermont and Connecticut with the same data in Florida and Texas. They found that higher vaccination rates would have prevented more than 70,000 hospitalizations and 4,700 deaths by the end of July.

Better rates, better outcomes

At that point, Texas and Florida had on average fully vaccinated 57% of their adult population. By comparison, the highest performing states (Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island) had on average vaccinated 74% of adults. They also saw much lower levels of hospitalizations and deaths, which means health officials are trying to remind everyone that getting a COVID vaccine is literally a matter of life and death.

Shern-Min Chow on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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