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The Delta surge is killing younger people

So many avoidable deaths.

About two weeks later, sometime in August, the [woman in the San Antonio intensive care bed] died. She was in her mid-40s.

She is among more than 9,000 Texans who have died from COVID-19 in August and September, nearly 40% of them under the age of 60, part of an alarming upswing in reported daily deaths that threatens to overtake last summer’s deadly surge in average weekly numbers.

The dramatic and sudden increase in deaths — which jumped nearly tenfold over two months this summer — comes in spite of tens of thousands of vaccine doses being administered to Texans every day.

[…]

Of the nearly 19,000 Texas deaths attributed to COVID-19 since early February, 119 were fully vaccinated according to preliminary data from the state health department.

Scientists are still researching whether the delta variant is more deadly than earlier versions of the virus, but it is known to be much more contagious, and some data suggest that it makes people much sicker, much faster than the previous versions. The COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective in preventing serious illness or death, scientists say.

“We shouldn’t be surprised,” Dr. David Lakey, vice chancellor for health affairs, chief medical officer at the University of Texas System and a member of the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 task force, said of the death numbers. “The main reason the fatality rates are as high as they are is there’s a lot of COVID in a lot of people that have underlying conditions and are not immunized.”

[…]

The deadliest month of the pandemic so far was January — before vaccines were widely available — when 9,914 people died from COVID-19, according to state data. That month only 15% of the COVID-19 deaths were among Texans under age 60. Last month during the height of the delta surge, they accounted for 38% of deaths.

More Texans younger than 60 died in August than at any other point in the pandemic. Deaths of Texans in their 40s, for example, jumped to 679 — nearly double the previous peak for that age group in January 2021. For Texans in their 30s, deaths in August were 33% higher than the winter peak, while deaths of those younger than 30 — 124 in August — were 77% higher than the previous peak for that age group, which was 70 in July 2020.

Older people are still dying in the largest numbers, even as their vaccination rate has reached 98% in some areas and 79% of Texans ages 65 and older are fully vaccinated statewide. That’s because they are still more vulnerable to the illness and much more likely to die from an infection than their younger counterparts, said Spencer Fox, associate director of the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium.

While deaths in that age group also increased in August, they were far below their peaks over the winter and last summer.

Hospitalizations peaked in August statewide — nearly reaching the record numbers from the January surge — and more hospitals reported ICUs at or over capacity than at any other time in the pandemic. Those numbers are starting to level off or decline, along with the positivity rate, which measures the percentage of COVID tests that are positive.

It’s an encouraging sign that the delta surge may finally be cresting, although that’s not a certainty, Fox said.

National models are saying the same thing, though everyone remains worried about the winter. That’s actually less of a concern here, at least for much of the state, because our winters tend to be mild, the occasional deadly freeze aside, and that means people can continue to be outdoors. Given how high our overall death rate has been, we can use all the help we can get. We’re sure not getting any from our state government.

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4 Comments

  1. David Fagan says:

    8 days and counting………

  2. Jason Hochman says:

    The delta wave has rapidly collapsed over the last few weeks.

    Sweden and Denmark have suspended the Moderna vaccine for young adults and children.

    Overall the Biden deaths have been equal to the Trump deaths. This is the abject failure of Biden; he started office with vaccines, treatment options, and supposedly a plan. But Biden failed. His whole promise was that he was going to crush the pandemic. He also has kids in cages, a border crisis, a disastrous Afghan withdraw, mass shootings are continuing. He’s just made a mess. Since the adults have been back in charge, Addy took the T Bird away and drove it drunk off a cliff.

    We now return to Fear Over Fact.

  3. C.L. says:

    If only Biden could mandate everyone, not just Fed employees, get the vaccine, maybe the US could turn the corner on this virus…. Amirite, Dr. Hochman ?

  4. Jason Hochman says:

    It’s unclear. Look at Harvard Business School. They have 97% vaccination, and they went to online classes for a few weeks due to the outbreak.

    You also must recall that behind, during the campaign, said that a vaccine mandate wasn’t necessary. He also assured us that he was the man with the plan, and was gonna crush the pandemic. Hopefully when kids start dying from vaccine complications, their parents will take vengeance by voting out the politicians who killed their kids.

    My three point plan would crush the pandemic. 1) enforce the border, 2) activate BLM to follow Sr. Maxine Waters, and have them smash the hospitals and take the rich administrators hostage. Remember, flatten the curve was designed to allow hospitals to prepare for the surge. Instead they fattened the herd of executive pay. Nationalize the hospitals, imprison the executives, 3) make all doctors federal employees. Any doctor refusing the treat unvaccinated patients will have the choice of being inducted into the military, going to prison, or paying a fine of $8.14 million in cash. It is egregious that people are getting rich from an occupation that is so largely federally subsidized. The working class, middle class, small business owners are forced to support the entire operation, and then Biden the Demented tells them that his “patience is wearin’ thin.” So is ours, that’s why they chant at the games, and so much for Captain Empathy. My plan will crush the pandemic in no time.