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For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the majority of Americans who have died from the coronavirus were at least partially vaccinated, according to a new analysis of federal and state data.

The declining efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and the increasingly contagious strain of the virus spreading among the elderly and those with reduced immunity has resulted in more deaths among those who have received at least one vaccine dose, a Washington Post analysis Published Wednesday. finds.

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The Post reported, “Sixty-eight percent of coronavirus deaths in August were people who were vaccinated or boosted.”

The paper described a “disturbing trend” as the share of deaths among people who were vaccinated “has been rising steadily” over the past year.

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Fenit Nirapil and Dan Keating of The Washington Post wrote, “In September 2021, vaccinated people made up just 23 percent of coronavirus deaths. That was up to 42 percent in January and February this year.”

“We can no longer say that this is an epidemic of unvaccinated people,” said Cynthia Cox, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, who conducted the analysis on behalf of the Post.

Top health officials have repeatedly urged Americans to complete their primary vaccine series and are encouraged to maximize vaccine protection against COVID-19.

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White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha speaks during a daily news briefing at the White House on October 25, 2022.

At a press briefing on Tuesday, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha unveiled the Biden administration’s new “six-week sprint” campaign to vaccinate Americans this holiday season.

Jha said, “The bottom line is that we are doing everything we can over the next six weeks to help families get their updated COVID shots by the end of the year, because that is the best protection they can have this winter. ” There is a “once a year shot” of the COVID-19 vaccine, similar to the flu shot.

Outgoing White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci also spoke at Tuesday’s press briefing, where he delivered his “last message” before leaving office at the end of the year.

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A syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at Keystone First Wellness Center on December 15, 2021 in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Fauci emphasized the safety and efficacy of approved COVID-19 vaccines in preventing serious illness and deaths, and encouraged and promoted Americans to get vaccinated as soon as possible. He noted that the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine diminishes over time and added that the disease should not be compared with other vaccine-treatable diseases such as measles as new variants emerge every few months.

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Protesters gather for a rally against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on January 23, 2022 in Washington, DC.

“My message, and my last message, probably the last message I’m giving you from this podium, is please, for your safety, for your family’s safety, as soon as you are eligible, get your updated COVID 19 Get the shot. Yourself, your family and your community,” Fauci said. “I urge you to go to Vaccine.gov so that you can easily obtain an updated vaccine, and please do this as soon as possible.”

Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx have acknowledged that coronavirus vaccines protect people from infection and transmission.

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Despite this, it was criticized by many, including Dr. Joseph Lapado, the Surgeon General of Florida, for suggesting that COVID vaccines were not as effective as originally claimed.

In October, the New York State Supreme Court ordered all employees who were fired because of New York City’s vaccine mandate must be reinstated with back pay, noting that “vaccination does not prevent a person from contracting COVID-19.” does not prevent it from contracting or transmitting.”

Fox News’ Lindsey Kornick contributed to this report.