Beaumont Health released the results of its large-scale study of 11,834 patients who were treated at Beaumont emergency centers for COVID-19. The results of the study showed that the center visit rate was 96% lower for fully vaccinated patients versus those who are unvaccinated.
Beaumont's study also reported that vaccinated patients with COVID-19 represented only 1% of its COVID-19 emergency care visits during the study. Within the 1%, those who required hospitalization and developed severe illness were typically older and much sicker with underlying conditions.
The study was published Thursday in the medical journal Lancet Regional Health - Americas.
"This study proves what we anecdotally already knew: vaccination protects you from severe COVID infection requiring emergency care, hospitalization and death," said the study’s lead author, emergency medicine physician Dr. Amit Bahl, director of Emergency Ultrasound for Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. "The main point is your odds of going to the hospital for COVID if you’re vaccinated is almost zero. You might get ill; you might feel bad for a couple of days. But you’re typically not going to go to the hospital and you’re not going to die."
According to the study, there were 1.29 emergency COVID-19 patients per 100,000 among fully vaccinated individuals. At the same time, there were 12.88 visits per 100,000 partially vaccinated and 22.61 visits per 100,000 unvaccinated patients.
"What this data shows us is that the need for emergency care and/or hospitalization due to breakthrough COVID-19 is an exceedingly rare event in fully vaccinated patients," said Dr. Barbara Ducatman, chief medical officer of Beaumont, Royal Oak. "As vaccination has increased within our region, emergency visits among fully vaccinated individuals have remained low and occur much less frequently when compared to unvaccinated individuals, demonstrating the vaccines’ effectiveness in preventing severe COVID-19 infection."
Regardless of vaccination status, the study shows elderly patients with significant co-morbidities who required hospital-based treatment suffered more severe outcomes.
"This study emphasizes that we need to be very protective of our elderly, shielding them from potential exposure, knowing that they can be so vulnerable," Dr. Ducatman said. "That is especially true for those who may suffer from diabetes, heart or pulmonary disease or other co-morbidities."
The study involved the review of 11,834 patients - none of whom were identified for the study and all visited Beaumont's emergency rooms between Dec. 15, 2020, and April 30, 2021. Of those patients, 10,880 patients were unvaccinated, 825 were partially vaccinated, and 129 were fully vaccinated.
The most significant differences were noted during April when Michigan was experiencing a spike in cases.