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Letter: Consider other causes of death

Before we jump to any conclusion, we should consider what was the pre-COVID health of these people who died, and how many had the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which is much less effective at preventing symptomatic infections?

Letter to the editor FSA

I found the "We are seeing the impact" article, stating 40% of Minnesota deaths are in fully vaccinated people, misleading. Before we jump to any conclusion, we should consider what was the pre-COVID health of these people who died, and how many had the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which is much less effective at preventing symptomatic infections?

Anyone with an organ transplant, cancer or autoimmune disease falls into a special category, and it is for their consideration that we should all be vaccinated. Their immune systems are too damaged to generate an immune response, almost as if they were never vaccinated.

For those with lung problems such as severe asthma, emphysema or COPD, even a mild respiratory infection could be fatal. In order to interpret the "40% of deaths happen to fully vaccinated people" we need the rest of the facts. This number should only be compared to unvaccinated deaths with similar underlying conditions, in order to give us any meaningful insight into these numbers. I expect the vaccine to not protect these groups as well as it does healthy people. A caveat should have been included in the figure.

It appears that the vaccine is highly effective at preventing deaths among people who are healthy, when comparing vaccinated to unvaccinated. Since the majority with severe underlying conditions are now vaccinated, we shouldn't casually draw conclusions on vaccine effectiveness without considering contributing causes of death.

Mary Koponen, Grand Forks

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