HARRISBURG, Pa. – More than a quarter of those hospitalized with Covid-19 are vaccinated “breakthrough” infections, according to a report issued today by the state Department of Health (DOH).
It’s a sharp contrast from the low 5.2 percent (of hospitalizations), that Acting Secretary Alison Beam announcedin a vaccine-promoting Sept. 14 press event. At that time, her “breakthrough” data was deceptively dwarfed because the DOH used cumulative data, dating back to Jan. 1, when vaccines were just inching into communities.
But, the current percentage – 26% – is in line with numbers seen on area hospital dashboards, like Lancaster General Hospital and PennState Health System. UPMC, the mega-giant health provider based in Pittsburgh, has promoted the vaccine, but has failed to disclose its breakthrough data; as has York-based WellSpan Health.
DOH Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson correlated the rise in breakthroughs to the rising number of people vaccinated. She also opined that the rise in breakthrough cases showed “waning immunity,” and recommended the booster shot for vulnerable populations (several months following the primary vaccination series.)
While the vaccine was once touted for its effectiveness, the Department now holds: “The case incidence among the fully vaccinated population is expected to increase as vaccinated persons have more opportunities to be exposed to infectiouspersons, especially persons infected by more transmissible variants.”
Data on the number of post-vaccination deaths in the past 30 days was not yet available due to a 60-day lag in the reporting and verification process.
DOH now publishes post-vaccination data online; but its unclear how regularly it’ll be updated.