A new study suggests that fully vaccinated people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the first half of the year may have not had severe COVID-19.
In fact, the study said about 57% of fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized had mild or asymptomatic infections, according to the study.
The study came after a review of 50,000 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 across 100 different Veterans Affairs hospitals in the United States from March 2020 to June 2021.
The researchers found that a majority of those patients had mild or asymptomatic infections. Those who needed oxygen or had a low blood oxygen level were considered moderate to severe COVID-19 patients.
From March 2020 to January 2021, about 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% vaccinated patients had less severe COVID-19 cases, according to The Week.
According to The Atlantic, this can be for a number of reasons. For one, these COVID-19 patients may have been admitted to the hospital for something other than COVID-19 but tested positive when they entered the hospitals.
Or the hospitalization may have been because of underlying medical conditions and an abundance of caution about their COVID-19 infection.
And, according to The Atlantic, some of the patients may have needed a quick treatment before they left the hospital.
Experts told The Atlantic that those fully vaccinated people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 end up leaving the hospital, too. So there may be a case to rethink the metric. Shira Doron, an infectious-disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, told The Atlantic:
“As we look to shift from cases to hospitalizations as a metric to drive policy and assess level of risk to a community or state or country,” she said, “we should refine the definition of hospitalization. Those patients who are there with rather than from COVID don’t belong in the metric.”