“You are 17 times more likely to go to the hospital if you’re not vaccinated, 20 times more likely to die.”

Are you 17 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 if unvaccinated?

White House press secretary Jen Psaki: “You are 17 times more likely to go to the hospital if you’re not vaccinated, 20 times more likely to die.”

PolitiFact’s ruling: True

Austin American Statesman


With Republicans disproportionately likely to still be unvaccinated against Covid-19, a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis finds clear divisions between the unvaccinated and vaccinated GOP — and younger, less educated, rural and more conservative Republicans are less likely to have gotten the shot.

A larger plurality of unvaccinated Republicans (45%) have a high school education or less (versus 35% of vaccinated ones), while those with a college degree or higher were 10 points more likely to be vaccinated (31% of those vaccinated versus 21% unvaccinated).

60%. That’s the share of unvaccinated Americans who are Republicans, according to KFF’s analysis, which notes political partisanship is now the biggest predictor of an American’s vaccination status over any other demographic.



Over the summer of 2021, as the Delta variant swept the nation, Americans’ experience with COVID-19 bifurcated. Among vaccinated people, cases were low and deaths were rare; at the same time, people with no immunity were getting sick and dying at alarming rates. COVID-19 became the pandemic of the unvaccinated.

Studies from PfizerModerna, and Johnson& Johnson show that vaccines continue to offer protection against severe disease. And booster shots stand up to Omicron much like the initial vaccine regimens stood up to Delta. Anecdotal evidence and recent hospitalization data is proving this out.

“We’re seeing breakthrough infections at a much higher rate,” says Chris Ruder, chief operating officer for the Kansas City division of the University of Kansas Health System. “Yet those individuals that are vaccinated are not the individuals that are being hospitalized, by and large.”