Skip to main content

Vaccinated patients avoiding hospital stays as pandemic rages on

Apr. 23, 2021, 8:48 AM


by Paul Govern

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is reporting only four persons who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have been diagnosed with COVID during an acute care hospitalization at its facilities over the past four months.

Among those who developed COVID after being fully vaccinated, some were asymptomatic, their infection only discovered through routine screening, while others were particularly vulnerable to infection due to underlying conditions that also likely made their response to the vaccine less effective than in healthy adults.

“The pandemic continues to cause illness around the world and in our region, but at VUMC we’ve seen vanishingly few people who are seriously ill with COVID-19 who have been fully vaccinated,” said infectious diseases specialist Tom Talbot, MD, MPH, professor of Medicine and chief hospital epidemiologist at VUMC.

Between Dec. 1, 2020, and April 5, 2021, a total of 1,833 patients with COVID-19 were admitted to the four hospitals that VUMC operates in Tennessee’s Davidson and Wilson counties, according to hospital admissions data. Some of these patients were admitted for other problems, having only mild or no symptoms from their COVID infection.

Among 1,833 patients admitted with a positive COVID-19 test: 1,793 had received no vaccine and 29 had received just the first dose.

Seven admissions had received a second dose of vaccine but were not yet fully immunized having recently received their second dose. Only four patients who had the full benefit of vaccination (last dose given 14 or more days before admission) were diagnosed with COVID during their hospitalization, one of whom died in the hospital but not due to complications from COVID.

“For anyone who has hesitated to get vaccinated against COVID-19, these hospital admissions data can’t help but paint a very clear picture,” Talbot said.

All Tennesseans age 16 and older are eligible to get COVID-19 vaccines. For information on scheduling vaccination, visit

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

Vanderbilt Medicine
VUMC Voice