It’s been well established that vaccination is the best option for reducing risk for infection with SARS-CoV-2, but also in avoiding severe disease and poor outcomes in breakthrough cases. New data published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shed some light on exactly which patients are still at increased risk for hospitalization or death from the virus even though they’re fully vaccinated (defined for purposes of the research as receiving a full complement of one of the approved vaccines plus a booster shot). Risk factors for severe outcomes— hospitalization with a diagnosis of acute respiratory failure; need for noninvasive ventilation; admission to an intensive care unit including all persons requiring invasive mechanical ventilation; or death, including discharge to hospice—included age 65 years or older and immunosuppressed status and at least one underlying condition. Those included overweight or obesity, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, chronic neurologic disease, chronic cardiac disease, chronic pulmonary disease, and chronic liver disease. Every subject who experienced a severe outcome had at least one risk factor, but 78% of those with four or more died. Results were based on assessment of data from 465 facilities in a large U.S. healthcare database, encompassing more than 1.2 million people who completed vaccination between December 2020 and October 2021.

Vaccination Reduces Risk for COVID-Related Hospitalization and Death—but Who Are the Exceptions?
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