By Guy Page
Sixty-two Vermonters died of Covid-19 in December, according to Vermont Dept. of Health data presented at Tuesday’s press conference. That’s the most deaths since last December (71).
However, at the press conference, Vermont officials could not say how many — if any — of these fatalities were among unvaccinated Vermonters.
The lack of information seems an odd oversight, given that Vermont’s Covid-19 experience is often described by state officials as “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” But instead, the Department of Health did not reference the unvaccinated from the December death data:
- Not fully vaccinated (most, with 45.5 deaths per 100,000)
- Fully vaccinated but not boosted (second most, with 11 deaths per 100,000)
- Fully vaccinated and boosted (least amount, with 2 deaths per 100,000).
Scott administration official Michael Pieciak said the unvaccinated deaths were likely included in the ‘not fully vaccinated’ category, but said he was unaware of the actual numbers. The state is focusing on ‘fully vaccinated and boosted’ as the goal, he said.
Health Commissioner Mark Levine said the unvaccinated probably are a significant percentage of the ‘not fully vaccinated’ death totals, but he too did not have the information available. He and Gov. Scott said they would find and share the information.
It’s not that Vermont isn’t keeping stats on unvaccinated Vermonters. Tuesday’s data show that unvaccinated Covid-19 hospitalizations are up 55% over the last seven days. Unvaxxed Covid sufferers in ICU beds are up 63% over the last seven days; today the figure is 80%, Pieciak said. These figures led Pieciak to claim that Covid-19 in Vermont is a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated.’
Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.