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UW Health: Unvaccinated people in Wisconsin 32 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19


MADISON (WKOW) — As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the nation and in Wisconsin, UW Health is providing information on just how much the virus continues to impact those vaccinated and unvaccinated.

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Dr. Joseph A. McBride says experts expect to see breakthrough cases — which is where a person fully vaccinated against COVID-19 tests positive for the virus. Still, McBride says the vaccine is the most effective tool against the virus because of how well it protects someone being hospitalized or dying from the virus.

“The goal of the vaccines is to safely provide protection to both the individual and to the general population, and the vaccines are meeting this goal,” McBride said. “Breakthrough infections are certainly possible but generally they are rarer and milder compared to COVID-19 infections in the unvaccinated.”

The discrepancy in COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated and vaccinated is clear in data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

According to DHS, in July the infection rate in Wisconsin for those unvaccinated was 369.2 cases per 100,000 people. In comparison, the infection rate for those fully vaccinated is 125.4 cases per 100,000.

In terms of deaths and hospitalizations, those unvaccinated in the state are 32 times for likely to be hospitalized and have a 13 times greater chance of dying, according to the New York Times.

DHS shows this data as 18.2 out of every 100,000 unvaccinated people are hospitalized and 1.1 per every 100,000 die of the virus. For those vaccinated, 4.9 out of every 100,000 are hospitalized and 0.1 per every 100,000 die.

At this point, 55.5 percent of Wisconsinites have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, and 52.2 percent of the state has completed the vaccine series.

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Sierra Rehm

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