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Breakthrough Infections, Part 2

By July 25, 2021Commentary

Because of the limitations of the data made available in Minnesota,  I am cautious in what I said yesterday about rates of hospitalizations and deaths resulting from infections among fully vaccinated people.  One thing I should be clearer on is that case rates are far lower among this group, so absolute numbers of those outcomes are lower as well.  Research so far shows that even among the frail elderly, vaccination reduces hospitalization and death rates, but I just don’t have the Minnesota data to say that here.  What you can infer by looking at page 22 of the weekly report issued by the state is that hospitalizations and death rates are very high overall among the elderly, where I would expect most of the infections among vaccinated people are occurring.

People forget how bifurcated this epidemic is.  For example, for the 80 and over group in Minnesota, there are now 22,281 cases, 6280 hospitalizations and 4494 deaths.  That is an astounding 28% hospitalization rate and 20% death rate.  Over 60% of all deaths are in this group.  Compare those to the breakthrough figures yesterday, where I suspect a lot of cases are among the 80 and above, of an 11% hospitalization rate and a 1.55% death rate, and you can see that in fact those serious outcome case rates almost have to be far better among the vaccinated, but I just don’t have the data to say that definitively yet.  If we get it, I am confident it will show, as the research suggests to date, that the vaccines lower case rates, but have an even stronger impact on serious outcome rates.  I just am also pretty confident that we will continue to see a lot of serious illness among even the vaxxed frail elderly.

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