Coronavirus: why are there more people hospitalized than a year ago despite the vaccine?

Less than 3% of hospitalized people are fully vaccinated. Almost all of the patients hospitalized are therefore not yet completely hospitalized. Comparing this year’s figures with those of last year, there are more people hospitalized during the same period. Yet eight in ten adults received both doses of the vaccine. How can we explain it?

The finding is startling: the number of admissions for Covid patients is higher than a year ago. Today, the figure is 454 while it was 285 in August 2020. The situation is similar for intensive care units. There are 124 admissions currently, up from 69 in August 2020.

It is important to note that these higher numbers are not so nationwide, but in some regions in particular. We can clearly see that it is the regions of Belgium with the lowest vaccination rate that are the most affected by this increase in cases that we are currently observing.“, explain Marc Vranckx, medical director of the CHR Sambre et Meuse.

The situation is therefore more delicate in the Brussels-Capital region.

Looseness and a different virus

Begun in June, deconfinement continued this summer. It allowed a significant relaxation of sanitary measures. “We protect ourselves a lot less than last summer, for reasons that everyone understands, and we each observe it in our environment every day. And secondly, we don’t have the same virus as last year, and this one is more contagious“, indicates Pierre Coulie, immunologist at the Institut de Duve (UCLouvain).

In fact, the Delta variant affects patients who are younger than last year, with longer hospital stays. “They start off in a much better state of health so they can endure a stay in intensive care, which is still quite aggressive, for a longer period of time. And many are doing it, fortunately“, specifies Pierre Coulie.

Several people go on vacation, where they did not go last year

The desire to travel abroad again this summer also favored the circulation of the Delta variant. “We all note that many people go on vacation, where they did not go last year. It also contributed, of course, to increasing the number of contacts, and therefore also of contamination.“, affirms Marc Vranckx, medical director of the CHR Sambre et Meuse.

As for the mortality rate, it remains lower than last year.

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