News Story

State's Outdated Messaging On Vaccine Effectiveness Hides Recent Trends

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported Aug. 17 that 95% of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 95% of those who died from it were not fully vaccinated.

But a reader would have to spend some time with the state report carrying that widely reported finding to discover it does not apply to this month or this summer. The mortality and hospitalization rates it cites are from Jan. 15 to July 28. That time period includes many months when comparatively few residents had been vaccinated.

For the more relevant recent period of June 3 through Aug.10, only 15% of the comparatively small number of deaths tied to COVID-19 were among fully vaccinated individuals. For hospitalizations, the number was 23%.

Nevertheless, the statistic that “95% of deaths were unvaccinated” has been widely cited by numerous media outlets.

The death and hospitalization rates from June 3 to Aug. 10 were the product of a Mackinac Center for Public Policy analysis of data provided online by the state of Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed in an Aug. 23 email that in the past 30 days, 23% of the people in Michigan whose test for the coronavirus returned a positive result had been vaccinated. During the same time, 28% of those hospitalized with the virus and 15% of the those who have died from it had been vaccinated.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.