Brian Dixon, PhD, MPH, describes the people who are at highest risk for ICU admission or in-hospital death from COVID-19.
We saw certain chronic conditions, whether it be obesity, whether it be diabetes, whether it be cardiovascular disease. We saw those being risk factors for hospitalization all the way back in 2020. Those were things that were leading people to become hospitalized. That has stayed fairly consistent. The group that’s at highest risk are people who have multiple of those conditions.
Dr. Dixon describes why the risk gap between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients is narrowing in patients with advanced age or multiple chronic conditions.
One of the reasons we hypothesized that the unvaccinated have similar risks as the vaccinated is because many people have also at this point been exposed to the virus at some point and have become acutely ill from it. And so there’s sort of this combination of natural immunity, if you will, as well as vaccine-induced immunity. And so those two groups, they were very different in 2021 and 2022. But now the two groups are starting to look fairly similar, and there’s high risk on both sides. Whether you are vaccinated or not, if you have multiple chronic conditions and/or you’re in advanced age, you’re at higher risk of having negative consequences.