Weekly rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths by immunization status are published monthly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on their website. Death data was last released on March 17 and hospital data on March 31. However, a viral tweet claimed that the CDC is no longer releasing the information.
How effective are the vaccines?
The CDC monitors rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths and laboratory confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status and age group, and publishes monthly data and interactive tables on its website for anyone to download.
According to the CDC website, COVID-19 case and death information is collected from jurisdictions that can link their case-tracking data to immunization data and determine the immunization status of people who have tested positive. Data on COVID-19 hospitalizations is collected by COVID NETa surveillance system that collects data on hospitalizations of children and adults with a confirmed infection through a network of over 250 hospitals in 14 states.
The data will be used by the agency to better understand how well the vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, are working.
For example, based on this dataUnvaccinated individuals over the age of 5 were 2.4 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and 9 times more likely to die from COVID-19 January. And in Februaryunvaccinated adults aged 18 years and older 5 times more likely to have a COVID-19-associated hospitalization as fully vaccinated adults.
The COVID-19 case and mortality data by vaccination status were last updated on March 17 and covering April 2021 to February 19 for cases and to January 29 for deaths. The data for COVID-19-associated hospital admissions by immunization status were from January 2021 to February 26 Posted on March 24, and then updated on March 31st.
The Agency has not indicated any intention to discontinue these publications.
“The next update of case and death rates by vaccination status will be mid-April and will include case data through mid-March and death data through late February. Hospitalization rates by immunization status are updated at the end of April and include data through the end of March. These timeframes allow subject matter experts to process and complete a thorough analysis of the data,” CDC spokeswoman Jasmine Reed told us in an email.
But a March 26th tweetthat went viral claimed that “the CDC is no longer releasing data comparing vaccinated versus unvaccinated deaths and hospitalizations.” Although the tweet was later deleted by its author, it’s still being shared other platforms.
Scott Morefieldthe tweet’s author and weekly columnist for conservative website Townhall, told us he wrote it after he met Dr. Aaron Kheriaty on the March 26 episode of Fox News.Unfiltered with Dan Bongino.”
On the show is Kheriaty, who is and has been against COVID-19 vaccine mandates recently fired from the University of California, Irvine, because he refused to be vaccinated, questioned the effectiveness of vaccines that have been shown to be effective in studies and in the real world. He said “we don’t know” how the COVID-19 vaccines work in the US “because the CDC is no longer releasing its data comparing vaccinated versus unvaccinated cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.” A Facebook post Office with the video uploaded to the show’s page on March 30, has more than 37,000 views.
“A spokesman for the CDC told the New York Times a few weeks ago the reason they’re not releasing the data that we’ve seen throughout the pandemic is because they’re worried they won’t be ready for prime time are averse to vaccination because they could gain weight. So what’s going on here? Why are these basic metrics being kept from the American people?” Kheriaty called during the broadcast.
Kheriaty referred to a New York Times story published on Feb. 20, which reported that the CDC had “withheld” “critical data” on boosters, hospitalizations, and wastewater analysis. Specifically, the story said the CDC omitted data on the effectiveness of boosters in people ages 18 to 49. A earlier New York Times story had reported that when the CDC released data on COVID-19-associated hospitalizations and deaths for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, with or without a booster shot, on February 3, it did not “report hospitalization rates for adults 18 to 49, perhaps because the numbers were too small.” The CDC released this data on February 17.
the New York Times story quoted by Kheriaty adding that while the agency did collect wastewater data showing SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels from some states and locations since the pandemic began — information that may have been useful in spotting new spikes in cases — was just the data published on February 4th. Data are from 41 states now available. In the story, experts shared their frustration at the lack of available CDC data on booster shots, more detailed information on children hospitalized for COVID-19, and the risk of contagion of infected people once symptoms appear.
A spokeswoman for the CDC, Kristen Nordlund, said that New York Times The agency “delayed the release” of some data because “it’s not ready for prime time” and fears it could be misinterpreted. But she didn’t say the agency “is no longer releasing the data,” as Kheriaty claimed.
In an email sent to FactCheck.org on March 28, Morefield said he decided to remove his tweet after admitting that “the CDC has some — though not all or enough — data.” published through an agency website. This page provides the underlying data for the agency’s COVID data tracker comparison of COVID-19 cases and deaths by immunization status.
“[A]While my tweet is rooted in claims that the agency isn’t nearly as straightforward or transparent or comprehensive as it needs to be, it could be construed as misleading, and that’s the last thing I want to do — so I have it removed,” he wrote.
But Morefield’s tweet, claiming that “the CDC is no longer releasing data comparing vaccinated versus unvaccinated deaths and hospitalizations,” is still being shared in screenshots on social media. And that’s not right.
Publisher’s Note: SciCheck’s COVID-19/vaccination project is made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation has no control about FactCheck.org’s editorial decisions, and the views expressed in our articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. The project aims to increase access to accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccines while reducing the impact of misinformation.
COVID data tracker. CDC. Rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths by immunization status. Last updated March 17, 2022. Accessed March 31, 2022.
COVID data tracker. CDC. Rates of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations by immunization status. Last updated March 24, 2022. Accessed April 1, 2022.
COVID data tracker. CDC. SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels in wastewater in the United States. Last updated March 31, 2022. Accessed April 1, 2022.
Morefield, Scott. Weekly Town Hall columnist. Email sent to FactCheck.org. March 28, 2022.
Mandavilli, Apoorva. “The CDC does not release large chunks of the Covid data it collects.” The New York Times. Updated February 22, 2022.
Mandavilli, Apoorva. “Younger Americans benefited less from booster shots than older people.” The New York Times. February 4, 2022.
Anthes, Emily. “The CDC is adding sewage data to its Covid-19 tracker.” The New York Times. February 4, 2022.
reed, jasmine. CDC, Public Affairs Specialist. Email sent to FactCheck.org. March 31, 2022.