HARTFORD, Connecticut — A new analysis has found the estimated “preventable cost” of treating unvaccinated adults in Connecticut’s acute care hospitals for COVID-19 was at least $4.2 million for June and $5.3 million for July.
The final tally could be higher, however. The Connecticut Hospital Association, which provided the analysis to Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, relied on a national model developed by KFF and the Peterson Center on Healthcare that assumed the approximate cost is $20,000 per COVID-related admission.
Paul Kidwell of the hospital association says the figures indicate the enormous strain COVID has put on the system.
Hospitalizations in Connecticut continue to decline while cases still rise due to the Delta variant.
As of Wednesday, Gov. Ned Lamont reported that Connecticut administered 23,994 tests on Wednesday and 712 came back positive, yielding a positivity rate of 2.97% for the day.
This summer’s coronavirus resurgence has been labeled a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” by government officials from President Joe Biden on down.
The sound bite captures the glaring reality that unvaccinated people overwhelmingly account for new cases and serious infections, with a recent study of government data showing that hospitalization rates among unvaccinated adults were 17 times higher than among those fully vaccinated.
But the term doesn’t appear to be changing hearts and minds among unvaccinated people. And it doesn’t tell the whole story, with some breakthrough infections occurring among the fully vaccinated. That's led health officials to recommend a return to masks and a round of booster shots.
“It is true that the unvaccinated are the biggest driver, but we mustn't forget that the vaccinated are part of it as well, in part because of the delta variant,” said Dr. Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California. “The pandemic clearly involves all people, not just the unvaccinated.”
A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in July found that 45% of adults who had not yet received a vaccine said they definitely would not get it, and 35% probably would not. Nearly 2 in 3 (64%) unvaccinated adults said they had little to no confidence the shots are effective against mutations like the delta variant, although public health data show vaccination dramatically reduces the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death. Just 3% of unvaccinated adults said they would definitely get vaccinated.
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