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Research: COVID-19 intensive care admission from May to December 2021 in Veneto


A University of Padua study published in the "JAMA Network Open" medical journal examines "COVID-19 Vaccination Status Among Adults Admitted to Intensive Care Units in Veneto, Italy." The study evaluates those admitted in intensive care units in Veneto for COVID-19 from May to December 2021 based on their vaccination status.

According to the study, 74% of those hospitalized in intensive care for COVID-19 during this period were not vaccinated. The study revealed that hospitalization rates grew at a sharp and marked increase to intensive care units (ICU) for these subjects in the second half of the year in conjunction with the increase in the number of infections during the last months of 2021.

On the contrary, the rate of ICU admissions of subjects who had been fully vaccinated (minimum of two doses) remained low and stable throughout the same period regardless of the wave of infections at the end of the year.

It is important to point out that almost 60% of the vaccinated subjects admitted to the ICU were over 70 years old. The age of those unvaccinated were much lower, and about 50% of the subjects were under the age of 60.

An analysis of the time that elapsed between the administration of the last vaccine dose and intensive care admission showed that 50% of vaccinated subjects had been hospitalized approximately five months after the conclusion of the vaccination cycle. This data indicates that vaccination coverage is subject to a natural decline and underlines the importance of getting a booster shot.

Finally, ICU patients vaccinated with only one vaccine dose represented a small percentage (8%) of the total hospitalizations during the study period. The analysis of the time elapsed between the administration of the vaccine and hospitalization revealed that in at least 50% of cases the infection occurred while they were awaiting the administration of the second dose of the vaccine.

Paolo Navalesi of the Department of Medicine at the University of Padua explains, “The results confirm that the vaccination is protective measure against severe Sars-CoV-2 infection and underlines the importance of undergoing the complete vaccination cycle, including any subsequent doses. It is important that we follow the time frame and methods recommended by the international scientific community to prevent serious complications such as to require intensive care, especially for senior citizens.”