A new study suggests that fully vaccinated people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the first half of the year may not have had severe COVID-19.
In fact, the study indicated that about 57% of fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized had mild or asymptomatic infections, according to the study.
The study came after an examination of 50,000 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 at 100 different veterans’ hospitals in the United States from March 2020 to June 2021.
The researchers found that a majority of these patients had mild or asymptomatic infections. Those who needed oxygen or had low blood oxygen levels were considered moderate to severe COVID-19 patients.
From March 2020 to January 2021, approximately 36% of patients in the study had mild or asymptomatic cases. But from January 2021 to June 2021, about 48 patients were asymptomatic, and 57% of vaccinated patients had milder cases of COVID-19, according to The Week.
According to The Atlantic, this can be for a number of reasons. For one thing, these COVID-19 patients may have been admitted to hospital for something other than COVID-19 but tested positive when they entered hospitals.
Or the hospitalization may be due to underlying medical conditions and great caution about their infection with COVID-19.
And, according to The Atlantic, some of the patients may have needed prompt treatment before leaving the hospital.
Experts told The Atlantic that fully vaccinated people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 also end up being discharged from the hospital. It may therefore be necessary to rethink the metric. Shira Doron, infectious disease specialist and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, told The Atlantic:
“As we seek to move from cases to hospitalizations as a measure to drive policy and assess the level of risk to a community, state or country,” she said, “we should refine the definition of hospitalization. Patients who are there with rather than COVID do not belong to the metric. “