SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Every week, San Diego County releases new data on COVID-19, including cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. But experts say so far, that data is pointing to one thing: the bulk of cases are still surrounding the unvaccinated.
The most recent numbers show a dramatic uptick in the number of deaths, up from 25 to 49 in just seven days.
Dr. Seema Shah, medical director of San Diego County's epidemiology and immunization department, said it's difficult to watch things going back in the wrong direction.
"What this data is showing and it's pretty clear that the burden of disease is still in those that are not fully vaccinated," says Shah. "I think that that's when it starts to hit home that it's not just about the cases. That it is ultimately about the long-term medical problems and deaths that occur because of those cases."
Dr. Shah says that since January, the county has seen 1,322 unvaccinated people die from COVID-19 compared to 21 who were fully vaccinated. She adds that those 21 people all had underlying medical conditions.
"Of the 21 individuals all of them had multiple medical problems, it wasn't just they had a single disease state that caused the death," Shah says.
According to the county, as of Sept. 1, the local case rate for not fully vaccinated residents was four times higher than fully vaccinated residents.
As we move into the fall and winter months, doctors like Shah are concerned we could see another surge.
"And on top of that is the possibility of influenza, so it's really important to get [the flu shot] once it's available with your provider," says Shah.