Shorter hospital stays for people who are fully vaccinated
Fully vaccinated people have shorter hospital stays and a lower risk of needing intensive care treatment, according to a new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Coronavirus vaccines provide very good protection against a severe disease course, even though they do not give 100 percent protection against transmission and disease. Even fully vaccinated people may be infected and some may need hospital treatment. This is especially true for the elderly and people with other underlying conditions.
"The study shows that there are differences in patient outcomes between vaccinated and unvaccinated people who are admitted to hospital with COVID-19 disease. This is useful and important knowledge for hospitals when planning patient treatment and capacity in a time of increasing transmission," says Sara Viksmoen Watle, Senior Physician at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
She explains further that the study also shows the effect of coronavirus vaccination. Although some fully vaccinated people become seriously ill and are admitted to hospital, their disease course is often shorter and less serious than among unvaccinated people.
The study looked at hospital stays and the risk of intensive care admission and mortality for COVID-19 patients during the period from 1 February to 30 September 2021, comparing those who were partially vaccinated or fully vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine and unvaccinated patients with COVID-19.
"Now that the majority of the population in Norway has been vaccinated against COVID-19 disease, it is a natural consequence that an increasing proportion of people admitted to hospital have been vaccinated. However, it is still the case that the risk of a severe COVID-19 disease course among adults is significantly higher for those who are unvaccinated," concludes Watle.
National registry data were used for the study. 2,361 patients were included in the study, where 70 (3 percent) were partially vaccinated and 183 (8 percent) were fully vaccinated.
Overall, fully vaccinated patients aged 18–79 had a shorter hospital stay. Fully vaccinated patients also had lower likelihood of admission to intensive care units. There was no difference in the length of stay for patients who were not admitted to intensive care, nor was there a difference in the probability of death in hospital between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients.
More information: Robert Whittaker et al, Patient trajectories among hospitalised COVID-19 patients vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine in Norway: a register-based cohort study, (2021). DOI: 10.1101/2021.11.05.21265958