5 October 2021 Blog Post: On Vaccination


After my last blog post, a reader commented that the current burden of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths occur among those that have not received the vaccination. Although I felt this was probably true but it was still worth investigating a bit further. To do so I turned to data from San Diego County because, of course, Los Angeles County does not report cases, hospitalizations or deaths by vaccination status.  The fact that they do not do so is confusing as it is part of their case report which I fill out when I have a new case.  They not only ask for vaccination status but which vaccine and the dates of vaccination.

Fortunately, San Diego County (population 3.3 million) does report these numbers and, even better, has a fantastic newsletter called “COVID-19 Watch” (link:  https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/Epidemiology/COVID-19%20Watch.pdf).

San Diego County currently has a rate of 21.9 new daily cases per 100,000 population.  However, among vaccinated residents that rate is 10.3 whereas for unvaccinated that rate is 37.9. 

An even more uneven distribution is seen among hospitalizations where for the County as a whole there are 0.8 new daily hospitalizations per 100,000 population.  That rate is 0.04 among those who are vaccinated and 1.83 among those who are unvaccinated.

Since March of 2021, 85% of the deaths due to COVID-19 (293 of 343) were among those who had not been vaccinated.  Only 15% (50 of 343) were among those who were fully vaccinated.

So, indeed, the COVID-19 picture has changed since 2020 as the reader points out “Consider the 1 change – those cases are almost all unvaccinated (mortality/hospitalization) which does change the picture. We have a choice. We can choose to get vaccinated and prevent illness for ourselves.”

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