COVID-19 Hospitalizations Increasing at Alarming Rate for Unvaccinated Adults

March 2021 Hospitalizations vs Vaccination Rates

COVID-19 daily hospitalization data indicates that the large growth in hospitalizations in Michigan in March is occurring among younger age groups that have the lowest vaccination rates among the state population, according to inpatient data collected by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA).

From March 1 to March 23, hospitalizations increased by 633% for adults ages 30-39 and by 800% for adults ages 40-49. Hospitalization growth rates decline as the vaccination rates per age group increases, with hospitalizations increasing by just 37% for adults 80 or older, of which 44% of the population are fully vaccinated in the state. The correlation between high vaccination rates and lower hospitalization growth rates shows the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine and how it protects from the risk of severe disease or hospitalization. The data also indicates that, although older adults still have a higher risk of hospitalizations, the percentage of hospitalized patients who are younger than 40 years old has doubled, showing that adults of any age are vulnerable to complications from the disease.

Graph of the inverse relationship between the increase in daily hospitalizations and vaccination rates by age group (March 1,- March 23, 2021).

“Michigan is making progress at ultimately defeating the COVID-19 pandemic through increasing vaccination rates, but the war is not yet over,” said MHA Chief Medical Officer Gary Roth, DO. “Now is not the time to let our guard down and risk contracting COVID-19 with more contagious variants emerging and vaccines becoming widely available. My prescription to all Michiganders is to wear your mask, wash your hands, avoid crowds and when it is your turn, get your vaccine. You must continue to take preventive measures even after you’re vaccinated because it takes at least two weeks for a vaccine’s full protection to kick in following the last dose, and it will take time to vaccinate everyone.”

Michiganders are being urged by the MHA to commit to proven COVID-19 preventive measures and to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them amid increasing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

“While much of our healthcare workforce is vaccinated, caring for a third surge of COVID-19 patients is mentally and physically draining for all front-line caregivers,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “Failing to follow proven preventive measures is not only dangerous to our health but hurts our economy and delays when in-person activities such as returning to work can occur with minimal restrictions. It will still take a few more months to vaccinate everyone, which is why we have to do everything in our power to slow the current growth. While you wait your turn for your safe and effective vaccine, mask up, practice social distancing and wash your hands.”

For questions regarding media requests, contact John Karasinski at the MHA.