The latest weekly Covid clinical update from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services begins by warning Alaskans that the state is in the “throes of the Omicron surge” with the highest per capita Covid case rate in the nation. It omits, however, the fact that Alaska’s death rate is the very lowest among all 50 states.
Sent out on Feb. 3, the state health department’s email cited a New York Times report from the same day which compared case rates across all states. The same Times article, however, also reveals that despite surging cases, Alaskans are nearly four times less likely to die from the virus.
The Times report looked at data from the past seven days in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Alaska had 0.21 deaths per 100,000 people and an average daily death count of 1.6. The highest death rate was in Mississippi with a 1.9 deaths per 100,000 people and an average of 56.6 deaths per day.
Also included in the Alaska health department’s Feb. 3 email were findings from a recent study of more than 1.1 million California and New York residents, which found that previous infection with Covid is by far the greatest indicator of protection against Covid related illness.
The study compared adults aged 18 years and older who were
1) Unvaccinated with no previous confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis
2) Vaccinated with no previous COVID-19 diagnosis
3) Unvaccinated with a previous COVID-19 diagnosis
4) Vaccinated with a previous COVID-19 diagnosis
While the unvaccinated and not previously infected had a much higher rate of Covid-19 incidence and hospitalization, there was virtually zero differences between the vaxxed or unvaxxed who had already had the virus. Both of these previously infected groups were by far the least likely to be impacted by hospitalization or Covid incidence.
Despite these findings, suggesting that natural immunity provides substantial protection against Covid illnesses, the Alaska health department’s email is filled with repeated recommendations that young children, pregnant women and the general population get the experimental shot.