Unvaccinated Covid patients in hospital much younger than vaccinated
People vaccinated against Covid-19 are 17 times less likely to need hospital treatment and 33 times less likely to end up in ICU than Covid-19 patients who are only partially or not vaccinated. Despite this, the proportion of hospitalized vaccinated patients is increasing, the RIVM reported. On average, unvaccinated Covid-19 patients in hospitals are almost 20 years younger than vaccinated ones.
Public health institute RIVM analyzed the vaccination status of people hospitalized with Covid-19 in October. Unvaccinated patients were 59 years old on average - much younger than the vaccinated patients' average 77 years. According to the RIVM, vaccinated patients tend to be older because the jabs work slightly less well in older age groups. And the average age for unvaccinated patients is younger because many younger people in the Netherlands opted against vaccination - relatively more older people got their jabs so far than younger age groups.
In October, just over half of all Covid-19 patients in the hospital were not or only partially vaccinated. In September, this was still nearly three-quarters of hospitalized patients. In ICU, the proportion of unvaccinated patients dropped from over 80 percent in September to about 70 percent in October.
The proportion of vaccinated Covid-19 patients needing hospital care is therefore increasing. According to the RIVM, this is a matter of relativity in the current wave of infections. Over 11 million Netherlands residents are fully vaccinated. And while they only stand a small chance of needing hospital care if they get Covid-19, a small chance times 11 million is still quite a few people in absolute number.
Unvaccinated people have a much higher chance of ending up in the hospital, but there are "only" about 2 million of them. They run the most significant risk of hospitalization. Still, if the virus spreads faster and more widely, the other, larger group will logically also come into contact with the virus more and more.
The RIVM also found that the overall effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines decreased a little bit. In recent months, the vaccines prevented an average of 94 percent of hospital admissions and 97 percent of all ICU admissions. In the past eight weeks, that decreased to 93 and 96 percent, respectively. "The protection is still very high," the RIVM said, echoing RIVM director Jaap van Dissel speaking to parliament earlier this week.