DEARBORN — A new study from Beaumont Health of COVID-19 patients across Southeast Michigan shows that vaccination prevents hospitalization and death.
After analyzing data for 11,834 COVID-19 patients treated at Beaumont emergency centers, researchers found that the hospitalization rate and emergency center visit rate was 96 percent lower in fully vaccinated patients than unvaccinated patients.
They also found that fully vaccinated patients with breakthrough COVID-19 infections accounted for only 1 percent of COVID-19 emergency care visits during the study period and those who required hospitalization and developed severe illness were typically older and much sicker, with other underlying health conditions.
“This study proves what we anecdotally already knew: Vaccination protects you from severe COVID infection requiring emergency care, hospitalization and death,” said Dr. Amit Bahl, the study’s lead author, emergency medicine physician and director of Emergency Ultrasound for Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. “The main point is your odds of going to the hospital for COVID if you’re vaccinated is almost zero. You might get ill; you might feel bad for a couple of days, but you’re typically not going to go to the hospital and you’re not going to die.”
The study also showed that elderly patients with significant comorbidities who required hospital-based treatment tended to suffer more severe outcomes, regardless of vaccination status.
Of the patients studied who came into Beaumont emergency rooms between Dec. 15, 2020 and April 30, 2021, 10,880 of them were unvaccinated, 825 were partially vaccinated and only 129 were fully vaccinated. The average age was 53 and 52.8 percent of the patients were women.
In those who were fully vaccinated, all eight deaths and six intubations occurred in patients over the age of 65. In the unvaccinated group, 384 died, including patients as young as 21 and patients as young as 19 placed on mechanical ventilation.
Four patients in the unvaccinated group were so severely ill that they required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which provides oxygenation of the patient’s blood and takes over the function of the lungs.
The study was published in Lancet Regional Health – Americas, one of six new medical publications available to both medical professionals and the public focused on six regions of the world: The Americas, Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.