NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A grim milestone has been reached in the United States with the number of COVID-19 deaths from the virus surpassing one million.

Yale Medicine Infectious Diseases Doctor Onyema Ogbuagu says many of those deaths were preventable, occurring after a COVID-19 vaccine was available.

“We have the resources, or we should have had the resources and a better response to prevent this is very sobering,” says Dr. Ogbuagu.

He believes for every 100 deaths there are 20 more not recorded with COVID-19 as the cause.

“The fact that covid 19 is the number one killer of people in the 45 to 54 age demographic, above cancer,” says Dr. Ogbuagu.

He points out that three quarters of the total U.S. deaths were in people over the age of 65.

Doctor Ogbuagu does not see the U.S. experiencing the same fatality rates as early in the pandemic due to vaccines and boosters now available, but sees more danger ahead.

“Unfortunately the projections are these deaths will continue at a significant degree.”

He adds that the number one thing contributing to covid deaths is being unvaccinated

And while Connecticut’s rate of fully vaccinated, meaning 2 covid vaccines, is almost 80%, the state’s rate of eligible people boosted stands at only 51%, with plenty of vaccine supply and appointments available.

Today a boosted message, about the importance of getting covid boosters when eligible for the best protection from hospitalizations and death.

“It is very likely that all of us who have been vaccinated will have a diminution of the level of protection after a certain number of months and it is likely that they will be recommended for everyone to get a boost then,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.