“Breakthrough” hospitalizations involving COVID-19 among people who are fully vaccinated against the disease most often affected older adults and people with other chronic health conditions, finds a new analysis of hospital data from June through September by KFF and Epic Research.
More than two-thirds (69%) of breakthrough COVID-19 hospitalizations occurred among people ages 65 and older, who are more likely than younger age groups to have gotten vaccinated. A fifth (21%) of breakthrough hospitalizations occurred among people ages 50-64, while 10% occurred among younger adults.
COVID-19 hospitalizations among people who were not fully vaccinated skew much younger, with about 3 in 10 (30%) involving patients ages 50-64 and 4 in 10 (41%) involving patients under age 50.
The analysis examines data from June to September from Epic’s Cosmos research platform, which includes data for more than 120,000 hospitalizations with a COVID diagnosis during the four-month period. Patients are considered “fully vaccinated” if they received a dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least two weeks before they were hospitalized, regardless of whether they were eligible for or received a booster shot.
Compared to those who are unvaccinated, a small share (15%) of hospital admissions for COVID-19 during the four-month period involve people who were fully vaccinated against the disease.
Other findings include:
The analysis is available on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system