In the summer of 2021, when the Delta variant swept the nation, Americans’ experience with COVID-19 split. Among those vaccinated, cases were rare and death was rare; At the same time, people without immunity were getting sick and dying at an alarming rate. Kovid-19 became an epidemic among the unvaccinated.
Then in December, Omicron appeared. Cases have increased in recent weeks, blowing past records during the Delta Wave. Driving this tendency is due to the extremely high transmissibility of Omicron, the immunosuppression of vaccinated people who are experiencing symptoms. Success transition. As the number of cases of both vaccinated and non-vaccinated increases, the gap between the two groups may seem to be narrowing – and “epidemic of non-vaccinated” is now a misnomer.
But that is not the case. Study from Pfizer, Modern, And Johnson & Johnson Show that vaccines continue to provide protection against serious diseases. And booster shots stand in omikron just as the early shots stood in the delta. Anecdotal evidence and recent hospitalization data confirms this.
“We’re seeing a very high success rate transition,” says Chris Ruder, chief operating officer of the Kansas City Division of the University of Kansas Health Systems. “Even so, vaccinated people are not hospitalized.
At the national level, the hospitalization picture is incomplete, as not all states publicly track patient vaccination status, and they do not always match and therefore cannot be compared together. States, for example, account for partial vaccinations in a variety of ways, and can exclude children from their analysis or track hospital admissions only to a select number of counties.
Among the states that regularly publish current statistics providing visibility on omicron-wave hospitalizations, some per capita enrollment reports, such as the chart below:
Other states report a ratio of vaccinated and non-vaccinated patients between current hospital admissions, as shown in another chart:
Aside from systemic differences, broader trends indicate that Ruder’s own hospital system is playing out across the country. In every area, unvaccinated Americans are still running the epidemic.
To be sure, the number of patients who have been vaccinated at the hospital has increased since the arrival of Omicron. Recent studies Show that immunosuppression is declining over time, which means that those who were on the front lines for vaccination last year may now be less secure than those who have recently taken shots. Booster shots Reinforce the immune system, but most people didn’t get a booster when Omicron first arrived. In mid-November, before the variant established its Tohld in several areas of the country, Less than half of qualified seniors– 87% of whom were fully vaccinated at the time – received a booster.
In addition, the majority of patients admitted to the hospital due to a successful infection in recent weeks have underlying health conditions. For example, on January 10, take 128 Covid-19 patients from Michigan Medicine, a hospital system affiliated with the University of Michigan. Of the 49 vaccinated patients, only nine were under 65 years of age, were not immunocompromised and did not have the vaccine. Significant underlying lung disease. Of the 79 people who were not vaccinated, 34 were similarly young and healthy.
In New York, one of the first states to be hit by the Omicron wave, both vaccinated and unvaccinated have seen an increase in serious COVID-19 cases – but the gap in hospitalization rates between the two groups is widening effectively. Before mid-November, unvaccinated New Yorkers were hospitalized for COVID-19 at about 10 times the rate of their vaccinated neighbors. But since then, they have become 14 times more likely to be hospitalized.
While hospital admissions are on the rise, some are resisting receiving booster shots, with about 20% of vaccinated adults reporting that they are “probably not” or “definitely” not being raised. November KFF survey. And yet many Americans continue to abandon COVID-19 vaccines altogether.
Studies – Supported by the real world Data from South Africa– Showing that Omicron symptoms Being less serious, people may believe that shots are not needed to fight this wave. (In the US, the picture is blurred – especially since some parts of the country are still experiencing both Delta and Omicron.) More than have been hospitalized. Earlier this month, U.S. Additional COVID-19 hospital admissions were recorded Before last year’s peak, vaccines became widely available.
The vast majority of patients are hospitalized, spread so thin that they cannot accommodate non-COVID patients who need emergency care due to a heart attack or stroke or car accident. Ruder says, “The number of beds and resources available to care for Kovid’s patients is reducing our ability to take care of other things that usually happen every day.”
Adding to the problem is the lack of health care staff. In early September, the American Nurses Association called on the Biden administration to declare the nursing shortage a national crisis. The White House has not followed suit, and since then, it has only deteriorated as a few systems Employees lost Who have been reluctant to comply with recent vaccination orders. And since the rise of Omicron, a large number of vaccinated healthcare workers – 70% of hospital staff Was vaccinated By mid-September – tested positive at some point, further reducing workforce along the way.
Nineteen states are facing staff shortages in a quarter of their hospitals as of January 10, according to an analysis of Time data. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That is up from 13 states in early December. The situation is particularly dire in New Mexico, Vermont and Rhode Island, where at least half the hospitals have hit critical staff levels.
Ruder doesn’t cut words when describing the situation in the Kansas City area. “In small hospitals and small rural communities, we are fully aware – and have certified – that patients are not able to be transferred to a higher level of care. [at larger hospitals] Because there is no bed. Not enough manpower. Not enough resources. And the sick are dying. ”