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VERIFY: Yes, COVID-19 has a 99% survival rate but numbers don't tell the whole story

WCNC-TV Charlotte logo WCNC-TV Charlotte 5/19/2021 Vanessa Ruffes

More than 41% of all North Carolinians have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Roughly 37% of the population is fully vaccinated.

While that rate rises a little every day, there are some who say the vaccine is not necessary, citing a popular online claim that says a person's chance of surviving the coronavirus is quite high.

The Question

Is the survivability rate of COVID-19 close to 100%?

The Answer

According to coronavirus data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, there have been more than 992,000 COVID-19 cases statewide since the pandemic's start. To date, there have been close to 13,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

That would make the percentage of infections resulting in survival close to 99%. However, doctors say that number does not tell the full story.

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Dr. Katie Passaretti, an infectious disease specialist with Atrium Health, says that 99% contains a wide variety of unpleasant, and even near-fatal experiences, including long-term hospital stays, and lingering effects, even after mild infection.

RELATED: VERIFY: Can the new Pfizer age group get vaccinated without parental permission in the Carolinas?

"So-called long-haulers after COVID that are healthy people but have the consequences of COVID that can last," Passaretti describes. "Yes, they survived, but it impacts quality of life, function and what-not."

She reminds, there is also a bigger picture too, and said the vaccine is important to not only increasing chances of surviving but also surviving well.

"This isn't just about the individual," Passaretti said. "It's about protecting the community and those most at risk in our community."

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

Contact Vanessa Ruffes at and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 


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