As coronavirus vaccination numbers increase, hospitals begin slow return to normal

Posted at 5:52 AM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 07:54:09-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Doctors say new data from Vanderbilt University Medical Center shows how effective the COVID-19 vaccine has been in real-world situations.

The study looked at coronavirus patients at VUMC hospitals from December to early April. According to the data,1,833 patients were admitted with a positive COVID-19 test. Of those patients, 1,793 were not vaccinated, 29 had received only the first dose, and seven had gotten a second dose of vaccine, but it was within two weeks of their second shot. Only four of the patients were fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

"It's just really striking to see, we have had very, very few individuals who are fully vaccinated admitted to our hospital and diagnosed with COVID," Dr. Tom Talbot said. "This shows us that folks who are fully vaccinated are rarely being admitted and diagnosed with COVID, and even those that we found, the four people, two didn't know that they had it (due to mild symptoms)."

Talbot said it's an encouraging trend and as vaccination numbers go up, medical centers are able to start getting back to normal.

"We're not yet at a place where we can remove our masks, but we've already started to do some slow loosening of our precautions, allowing some more individuals in certain areas and group gatherings," he explained.

But while pandemic changes happened quickly last year, Talbot said the return to normal will be much slower.

"Now we have science and data to help us, we have really good surveillance information of where we see COVID, and will allow to step down in a thoughtful way, but we don't want to be too fast... We don't want to risk kind of receding backwards."