As of mid-August, Colorados who were not fully vaccinated were almost four times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19, indicating that although vaccinations may lose some effectiveness in preventing infection, they still greatly reduce the risk of serious illness. risk.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment last week ordered hospitals to begin reporting data on patient vaccinations. On Wednesday, the agency began to release the data to the public.
Compared with people who were not vaccinated, as of August 22, people who were at least two weeks after the last vaccination were 3.4 times less likely to test positive for COVID-19, and as of August 15 the likelihood of being hospitalized was reduced 3.8 times is not fully integrated.
The death data only lasts until July, but people who are fully vaccinated are about 5.8 times less likely to die at that time.
State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said at a news conference on Wednesday that the delay in the report was to ensure that the data was as complete as possible.
“Most transmission, most hospitalization, occurs in our unvaccinated people,” Herlihy said.
On average, hospitalized patients who have not been vaccinated are younger than those who have had more severe breakthrough infections. As of mid-August, the average age of hospitalization after full vaccination was 73 years, but the average age of those who were not vaccinated was 58 years.
Since June, delta variants have contributed to an increase in “breakthrough” infections in the vaccinated population. Herlihy said that the proportion of people over 80 in breakthrough cases is too high, possibly because they are unlikely to have a strong immune response.
People with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of severe breakthrough infections because they may not build strong defenses after the first two injections, and some evidence suggests that older people may also be more susceptible to infections. In mid-August, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that some people with immune diseases receive a third dose of the vaccine.
The administration of President Joe Biden has called for a booster dose for everyone starting in late September, but the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration have indicated that they may need more time to assess potential risks and benefits.
In Colorado, the proportion of breakthrough cases among people aged 20 to 49 is also higher than expected. Herlihy said that they may be more likely to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is slightly less effective than the Pfizer or Moderna version, or they may be exposed to the virus more frequently than the elderly.
“It’s often a crowd going out,” she said.