Local hospitals seeing drastic divide in hospitalizations of unvaccinated and vaccinated Hoosiers


EDITOR’S NOTE: The previous version of this article stated that there were 322 deaths as a result of breakthrough cases in vaccinated Hoosiers, according to the ISDH vaccination dashboard, there have been 93 breakthrough deaths, and 322 breakthrough hospitalizations. This has been corrected in the copy below.

INDIANAPOLIS — As COVID cases rise in central Indiana, local hospitals are seeing a vast majority of their patients in the form of unvaccinated Hoosiers. At Eskenazi Health, nearly all of their hospitalizations are from unvaccinated patients.

“Hospitalizations are on the rise compared to two months ago. They are all unvaccinated being admitted to the hospital requiring high doses of oxygen, sometimes ventilators, is the common theme right now,” detailed Dr. W. Graham Carlos, chief of medicine at Eskenazi Health. “Seeing many more people in their 30s, 40s this time around than March or April 2020.”

Community Health is similar in their numbers with more than 95% of their COVID positive patients being unvaccinated. Health Experts say the current surge in cases is similar to one seen in December. The difference is now patients tend to be younger and overall healthier.

“Previously a lot who were hospitalized had co-morbidities or other health issues. That’s not necessarily the case this time,” said Dr. Ram Yeleti, chief physician executive at Community Health Network. “If you are healthy, I can’t say you won’t be hospitalized.”

To date, there have been 322 hospitalizations as a result of breakthrough cases in vaccinated Hoosiers. Those cases makes up .01% of all vaccinated people in the state. Doctors say often breakthrough cases never reach the hospital.

“Most breakthrough cases have mild cold like symptoms,” tells Dr. Yeleti. “Only way out at this point is to get people vaccinated. This totally is a surge that is avoidable. Our nurses and doctors are already kind of burned out from going through this. It’s especially hard when you know there is a way to fix this.”

Dr. Carlos also recommends that people who have already been through COVID get vaccinated due to the delta variant.

“This is a new strain, different strain than you had in the past, more virulent,” detailed Dr. Carlos.

While Dr. Yeleti admits no vaccine is 100% effective, the efficacy of the COVID vaccines far surpasses that of even the flu vaccine.

“A 90% efficacy is phenomenal, the flu shot we get every year is only 50%. If you wear a seatbelt in a car, does that mean you will never get injured in a car accident? No. But, it really increases your chances dramatically.”

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