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You ask. We Answer | Why has the percentage of unvaccinated hospitalized COVID-19 patients dropped?

Multiple factors may be the cause, doctors say.

HARTFORD, Conn. — A FOX61 viewer wrote in with a question about COVID-19 hospitalizations in Connecticut:

“We have been hearing for months that 99.9% of hospitalizations are unvaccinated. The report that came out yesterday shows 75%. Why the change?” wrote the viewer, who wished to remain anonymous. 

At the onset of the pandemic, 100% of the hospitalizations were unvaccinated, because there were no vaccines.

Over time, as a larger percentage of the population has become fully vaccinated, there have been more and more opportunities for breakthrough infections, and some hospitalizations, although the vaccines remain effective at stopping most deaths and severe cases of COVID-19.

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There may also be demographic distinctions in the breakthrough cases as well.

Dr. Syed Hussain, the Chief Clinical Officer of Trinity Health of New England, said there are indications some fully vaccinated people are more likely than others to get infected.

“It’s also important to look at the demographics, who’s getting these breakthrough infections, so if you look at data from the United Kingdom and Israel, real-time data, it’s more individuals who were first in line to get the vaccines when the vaccination campaign started in 2020, those are individuals above the age of 60,” said Hussein.

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Hussein said the probability of an average fully vaccinated person getting a breakthrough infection is likely between 1-in-5,000 to 1-in-10,000.

The real-time data from the U.K. and Israel has fed the debate surrounding booster shots of COVID vaccines in the U.S.

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Are they the best use of our extra vaccines, or would they be of better use sending them across the world to cut down on infections?

Hussain said the U.S. doesn’t need to choose because the U.S. has only used about 400 million of the 1.4 billion doses ordered so far.

“So, we have a comfortable supply for our own use but we need to help out other countries as well,” he said. “Remember, we’re all in this together and we need to ensure that the virus stops replicating and mutating into different variants.”

As far as booster shots go, Dr. Hussain said three-dose vaccines aren’t uncommon.  He said the hepatitis-b vaccine series is three doses.

If you have a question that you want to be answered, email share61@fox61.com

Tim Lammers is an anchor at FOX61 News. He can be reached at Tlammers@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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