By: Caroline Machiraju
HERSHEY, Pa – “Breakthrough” cases make up more than a quarter of hospitalizations at Penn State Health System, per their Covid-19 dashboard; but there’s a whopping 22 Covid patients labeled as “unknown vaccination status” among its adult Covid patients.
In today’s recap, 26 – or 25.7% – of their 101 Covid patients arelisted as “fully vaccinated,” while 22 – or 21.7% – have“unknown vaccination status.” The data now represents their new facility, Hampden Medical Center, off Wertzville Road, in Enola; in addition to Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey; St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading; and Holy Spirit Medical Center in Camp Hill.
PSH updates its “breakthrough” data every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Also following suit is PennMedicine Lancaster General Health, whose rate of hospitalized “breakthrough” Covid patients also hovers around the same mark: 26%. (There is no mention of “unknown vaccination status” on LGH’s dashboard; LGH’s info is updated daily.)
Meanwhile, UPMC and WellSpan are keeping the public in the dark regarding their “breakthroughs.” UPMC still has no dashboard at all on their website; and WellSpan shares Covid hospitalization data, but no breakdown on “breakthroughs.”
A “breakthrough” cases is defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as individuals who are fully vaccinated and tested positive for COVID-19 more than 14 days after they completed their full one or two-dose vaccination series.
On Sept. 14, the state’s Department of Health (DOH) held a news conference, asserting that “breakthrough” cases are rare, based on an oversized sample pool of cases, stretching back to January 1, 2021, when vaccinations were just inching into communities. The DOH also holds that vaccines prevent serious illness from Covid-19.
PA DOH Acting Secretary Alison Beam said the department is mandating hospitals through an order to report vaccination status; but compliance remains an issue.
Harrisburg100 reached out to PSH to inquire as to why so many of its Covid patients have an unknown vaccination status, but have not received a response. Harrisburg100 also sought info from UPMC and WellSpan on breakthrough data, but those emails have been ignored.
Among PSH’s adult ICU Covid admissions, the percentage is 10%; but because of the missing data as to seven (7) ICU patients, whose vaccination status is unknown, that rate, could be as high as: 33%. Of those “breakthroughs” on a ventilator, the percentage is 13.3%, but because of the missing data on five (5) ventilator patients, that percentage could be as high as 46.6%.
Harrisburg100 is keeping pressure on area health systems to disclose all “breakthrough” information.