Vaccinated patients represent one in four hospitalizations in Pennsylvania: Dept. of Health | Health

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During the past month, 26% of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Pennsylvania were vaccinated individuals, according to a recent report from the state’s health department.

“Since a lot more people are vaccinated, we are seeing more cases in people who are vaccinated, as expected,” Pennsylvania Acting Medical Officer Dr Denise Johnson said at a press conference on Friday.

Johnson added: “But the good news is that the vaccines are still working and very well.”

Of the three Lancaster County hospitals, only Lancaster General Hospital tracks breakthrough infections.

The percentage of breakthrough hospitalizations at LG Health has risen sharply over the past month, reaching almost 30% at one point. As of Monday, 16% of COVID-19 patients were fully immunized, according to the health system‘s online dashboard.

“Of the small number who are vaccinated and admitted to hospital, many of these patients are older and / or have medical conditions that compromise the ability of their immune system to fight infection,” a spokesperson said. from LG Health in an email. in TNL | Lancaster online.

A COVID-19 breakthrough, or post-vaccination case, is defined as a fully vaccinated individual who tests positive two weeks after completing a single-dose or two-dose regimen.

Surveillance for breakthrough cases is important for tracking the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, which appear to show waning effectiveness after six months. An increase, the report notes, could “be a signal of reduced protection against a variant.”

State health officials only recently began collecting data on revolutionary cases after Republican lawmakers requested the data.

Released on Friday, the report looked only at whether hospitalized patients were vaccinated or not. It does not assess whether these revolutionary cases were among those vaccinated more than six months ago.

“We didn’t have the time and resources to analyze the groundbreaking data based on the type of vaccine,” Barry Ciccocioppo, state health spokesperson, said in an email to LNP | Lancaster online. “At this point, we have not been able to look beyond full vaccination versus incomplete vaccination in terms of breakthroughs.”

Friday’s report marks the second on post-vaccination cases.

On August 13, Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam ordered hospitals to report breakthrough infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking groundbreaking cases nationwide for months.


A mistake to draw conclusions

The latest report looked at revolutionary cases from September 7 to October 4.

Among the discoveries:

– 74% of the nearly 5,000 hospitalizations in the past month were among unvaccinated Pennsylvanians.

– 518 of the 7,625 deaths from COVID-19 in 2021 were among the vaccinated, or 7%.

– 69,822 infections, or 9%, out of more than 770,000 positive cases this year have been identified as a revolutionary case.

UPMC infectious disease specialist Dr John D. Goldman cautioned not to overdo the numbers.

“It is a mistake to just look at what percentage is hospitalized with COVID and vaccinated and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of vaccines,” Goldman said in an email to LNP | Lancaster online.

Goldman echoed what others have said about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, as more people vaccinated have been hospitalized.

“If you are vaccinated and you get sick, your disease course will be better than if you weren’t vaccinated,” Goldman said. “The vaccine helps prepare the body to respond to the virus. “

Monday, LNP | LancasterOnline asked officials of the county’s four health systems if the groundbreaking cases they were seeing were among those vaccinated more than six months ago. None answered this question.

WellSpan Health declined to comment, while Penn State Health did not respond.

Penn State is following groundbreaking cases, but does not have a hospital in Lancaster County.

Pennsylvania health officials released their first report on groundbreaking cases, hospitalizations and deaths last month.

This report found that 95% of hospitalizations from January 1 to September 7 were among the unvaccinated. With health workers receiving the first vaccines in Pennsylvania in mid-December, no one was reportedly fully vaccinated on January 1.

The statistics represent data for 62% of all hospitals, an increase in attendance of around 7% since the state released its inaugural report on September 14.


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