Press release: 12.717-015/22

Significantly lower mortality rates among persons vaccinated against COVID-19 compared to unvaccinated persons

Vienna, 2022-01-25 – Persons who have at least once been vaccinated against COVID-19 have a significantly lower mortality risk than unvaccinated persons, regardless of their age and sex. This is a result of a new analysis by Statistics Austria based on data from the National Vaccination Register and data on deaths in the period from September to December 2021. All deaths were taken into account regardless of the cause of death, with a distinction being made between vaccinated persons (those who received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 recognised in Austria) and unvaccinated persons.

"Unvaccinated people have a significantly higher risk of dying than those who have received at least one dose of vaccine against COVID-19 – this is the case in almost all age groups and regardless of gender. However, we see the clearest differences among people of older age: in the period September to December 2021, around 2 884 out of 100 000 people over 80 who had been vaccinated at least once died. Among the unvaccinated in the same age group, the mortality rate was more than twice as high, at 6 676 per 100 000," explains Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

For the period from September to December 2021, the age-standardised mortality rate, in which the number of deaths is adjusted for the age structure of the population on the basis of a standard population, was significantly higher for unvaccinated persons than for those who received at least one vaccine dose. If Austria's age structure was equal to the standard Eurostat population, around 584 out of 100 000 unvaccinated people would have died in the four months from September to December 2021, but only 286 out of 100 000 vaccinated people. In September, there would have been 118 deaths per 100 000 unvaccinated people, but only 65 deaths per 100 000 vaccinated people. In the two following months, the age-standardised mortality rate increased for both groups, but to different degrees depending on whether a vaccination was received or not. For those who were not vaccinated, the age-standardised mortality rate in November 2021 was 51% higher than in September. But for those vaccinated at least once, this increase was only 24%. In December, the age-standardised mortality rate declined again and, for the vaccinated, was only 4% higher than the September value, while still 41% higher for the unvaccinated. For every 100 000 people, there were approximately 68 deaths among those vaccinated at least once against COVID-19 and 166 deaths among those not vaccinated in December 2021.

Reflecting the lower life expectancy of men, they have higher age-standardised death rates than women in all months of the study period, with the differences affecting both sexes to a similar extent after receiving a vaccination. In the period from September to December 2021, approximately 356 out of every 100 000 men vaccinated at least once and 741 out of every 100 000 unvaccinated men died. For every 100 000 women, there were approximately 231 deaths among the vaccinated and 488 deaths among the unvaccinated during the study period.

For more detailed information, please refer to the German version.