COVID Cases Increasing Twice As Fast Among the Vaccinated in Last Month

DHS Says the Delta Variant is to Blame

Unvaccinated Case Load Still Remains High Overall

August 19, 2021

The chance of getting COVID-19 is higher for unvaccinated individuals in Wisconsin, but that gap is closing fast, according to data released by the Department of Health Services on Thursday.

DHS released comparisons between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals for cases, hospitalizations, and deaths covering February through July. The data did not include exact numbers of individuals, just the rate per 100,000 people. In every category in every month, the rates were higher for unvaccinated individuals. The new data suggests this might not be true for much longer.

On July 28th, DHS announced that “From January 1, 2021 through July 22, 2021, over 98 percent of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin occurred among people who were not fully vaccinated.”

However, a month-by-month breakdown reveals that percentage is shrinking. In May it was 95%. In June it was 88%. And in July it was 77%.

The rate of cases among unvaccinated individuals peaked in May with a rate of 505.3 per 100,000. The rate of cases among fully vaccinated individuals peaked in July at 125.4 (the most recent month included in the data).

From June to July, cases increased among the vaccinated twice as fast as among the unvaccinated. The rate among the vaccinated increased from 14.4 per 100,000 in June to 125.4 in July, a 771% increase. The rate among the unvaccinated increased from 82.8 in June to 369.2 in July, a 346% increase.

The biggest difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals catching COVID occurred in May. Unvaccinated individuals were 11 times more likely to get COVID in May. The next month, they were 5.75 times more likely. The month after that, they were 3 times more likely.

The difference between hospitalizations is also shrinking. In May, you were 5 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID if you were unvaccinated than if you were fully vaccinated. That dropped to 4 times more likely in June, and 3.7 times more likely in July.

The difference between deaths, on the other hand is growing. Unvaccinated individuals were 4.9 times more likely to die of COVID in May. That grew to 7 times more likely in June, and 11 times more likely in July. The current rate is 1.1 deaths per 100,000 for unvaccinated and 0.1 deaths per 100,000 for vaccinated.

The percentage of people vaccinated grew significantly during this timeframe. In February only 1.9% of Wisconsin residents were fully vaccinated. In July, that rate had grown to 47.4%. In May, when trends for cases and hospitalizations started to reverse, the vaccination rate was 35.4%.

Although the trends found in DHS’ new data might indicate a drop in vaccine efficacy, DHS continues to push for more vaccinations.

In a press release Thursday, DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake stated, “The COVID-19 vaccines are still doing their job by stopping the spread of many new infections, and by preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”