for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

Fact Check-High COVID-19 vaccination rates in New South Wales mean that those admitted to hospital are likely to have been vaccinated

High COVID-19 vaccination rates in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, mean that most people admitted to the hospital are likely to have been vaccinated against the virus. New South Wales Health advises that unvaccinated individuals are more likely to experience severe illness from COVID-19.

The posts, (here), (here) and (here), show a screenshot of an article with the headline: “BREAKING - New Bombshell Australian Public Health Data Finds All COVID Related Hospitalizations And ICU Admissions Were Vaccinated - None Unvaccinated- And Only 6.3% Of COVID Deaths Were Unvaccinated.”

The article (archive.ph/vuDj3) in these social media posts refers to a respiratory surveillance report for the last two weeks of 2022, published by New South Wales Health (here). The data cited in the headline can be seen on pages 4 and 5.

The NSW data does show (on page 4) that none of the 1,919 people listed as hospitalized or admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 during that two-week period was confirmed to have been unvaccinated (vaccination status is listed as unknown for 399 of those people).

The circulating social media posts, however, lack the context that more than three quarters of those hospitalized (1,451 people) were aged 60 and older, a group that also has a very high vaccination rate in the region.

Nearly 100% of over-65s are vaccinated, a spokesperson for NSW Health told Reuters Fact Check by email.

The report also notes (on page 2) that more than 95 percent of residents aged 16 and older in NSW have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine and more than 70 percent of residents eligible for a third dose have received it.

“With such high vaccination coverage in the community, a high proportion of people admitted to hospital or intensive care unit (ICU) with COVID-19 are now vaccinated with two or three doses,” the report states. “However, people who are not vaccinated remain more likely to suffer severe COVID-19.”

The report adds that “some people with COVID-19 who are admitted to hospital or ICU are admitted for conditions unrelated to their COVID-19 infection, and these admissions will not be prevented by vaccination”.

On page 5 of the report, the authors note that among 95 people who died with COVID-19 during the surveillance period, about one third (31 people) were aged-care residents.

Of the 95 who died with COVID-19, six individuals (6.5%) were unvaccinated – a slightly higher percentage than the proportion of the region’s adult population who are unvaccinated.

Reuters has previously factchecked false claims that a higher proportion of vaccinated people contracting COVID-19 or dying from it reflects vaccine effectiveness (here ) (here).

The author of the article in these posts did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

VERDICT

Missing context. A respiratory surveillance report from New South Wales, Australia, found that nobody admitted to hospital with COVID-19 during a two-week period was confirmed to have been unvaccinated. However, the region has a nearly 96% vaccination rate among all adults and nearly 100% among seniors, and the report explains that hospital admissions are not a reflection of vaccine effectiveness.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .         

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up