LONGVIEW, Washington — A new report analyzing vaccination status of Southwest Washington residents hospitalized for COVID-19 shows that vaccination can reduce the risk of hospitalization by as much as 90%.
The analysis found the risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19 was reduced by 90% for Southwest Washington residents 65 years and older who were fully vaccinated. Among those 65 years and older who were partially vaccinated, the risk of being hospitalized was reduced by 75%.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. People are considered partially vaccinated if they’ve received at least one dose but are not yet fully vaccinated.
“This report demonstrates how effective COVID-19 vaccines are at preventing severe illness that can lead to hospitalization,” said Dr. Steven Krager, deputy health officer for Cowlitz, Clark, Lewis, Pacific, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties. “Completing the vaccination series provides the most protection, but even those who are not yet fully vaccinated receive some protection from the vaccine.”
The report also examined vaccination status of residents 45 to 64 years old who were hospitalized for COVID-19. However, fewer than 10 fully vaccinated residents in that age group were hospitalized for COVID-19, making it impossible to calculate an estimated rate that was statistically stable.
The hospitalization data did show that 91% of hospitalized residents 45 to 64 years old were unvaccinated. For comparison, 49% of the population in that age group in the region were unvaccinated.
The analysis included residents of Cowlitz, Clark, Lewis, Pacific, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties who were hospitalized for COVID-19 from March 22 to June 27, 2021.
“The COVID-19 vaccines are very effective, but they’re not perfect. A small number of people who are fully vaccinated may still get COVID-19,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, health officer for Cowlitz, Clark, Lewis, Pacific, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties. “But this data show that those who are vaccinated are far less likely to be hospitalized as a result of their illness. Getting vaccinated provides the best protection.”
The report was compiled by Cowlitz County Health and Human Services. Other Southwest Washington health departments partnered with Cowlitz County on the project. The complete report is available online: https://bit.ly/3zVEvpF.