The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services released a report on Monday stating that those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated are five times more likely to be hospitalized and three times more likely to die from COVID.

State Epidemiologist Laura Williamson revealed the information to KGVO.

“DPHHS just issued a report this morning looking at COVID-19 cases or infections, as well as COVID 19 related hospitalizations and deaths,” said Williamson. “We also looked at that by vaccination status and we looked at that from February through early September, just a few weeks ago. What we found were that people who were not fully vaccinated were more likely to be infected with COVID-19 and also more likely to be hospitalized and or die of COVID-19.”

Williamson dove deeper into the study to reveal the actual numbers.

“What we found was that from February through early September that nearly 90 percent of the COVID-19 infections occurred among people who were not fully vaccinated,” she said. “In addition, nearly 89 percent and 84 percent respectively of COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths occurred among people who are not fully vaccinated.”

Williamson shared more telling statistics from the new study.

“COVID-19 infection rates were 4.4 times higher among those that were not fully vaccinated, compared to those that were fully vaccinated,” she said. “Hospitalization rates were five times higher among those that were not fully vaccinated, and the death rate was three times higher among those not fully vaccinated compared to those that were vaccinated.”

One more statistic from the study is the younger ages of those being hospitalized and dying from COVID 19.

“What we are seeing is that the average or the median age of people who are hospitalized, or die of COVID-19 is getting younger and younger, especially among those who are not fully vaccinated,” she said. “The median age of hospitalization was 60 years among those who were not fully vaccinated, and you can compare that to 75 years among those who were fully vaccinated, so that's a 15 year age gap.”

COVID-19 infections among fully vaccinated persons are called “breakthrough” cases. A breakthrough COVID-19 case is defined as a COVID-19 infection which occurred 14 or more days after completing the primary COVID-19 vaccine series. Depending on the specific vaccine administered, completion of series could be one or two doses of vaccine.

 

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