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• Ruby Memorial Hospital confirmed that at the time of the remark, about 90% to 95% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 were unvaccinated.
• Nationally, statistics from the CDC published both before and after her comment broadly support those percentages.
West Virginia University faculty members held a special meeting on Sept. 1 to begin consideration of a proposal to strengthen the university’s rules on the coronavirus by making vaccines mandatory on campus.
During the meeting, one faculty member — Kathryn Moffett Bradford, the division chief of pediatric infectious diseases at WVU's School of Medicine — offered a statistic that she said supported the importance of getting vaccinated for the coronavirus.
"If you look at the hospitalizations at Ruby Memorial in West Virginia, and around the country, 90% to 95% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated," she said. She was referring to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va., which is part of WVU’s health system.
Angela Knopf, director of media relations and public affairs for J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, confirmed to PolitiFact West Virginia that at the time the faculty meeting was held on Sept. 1, about 90% to 95% of the patients hospitalized for COVID-19 were unvaccinated.
Moreover, Knopf said that as of Sept. 13, 2021, fully 100% of the patients in the intensive care unit at Ruby Memorial were unvaccinated.
How about the numbers nationally? The share of the unvaccinated in hospitals for COVID-19 is also well above 90%.
As of Aug. 2, 2021, more than 164 million people in the United States had been fully vaccinated and, based on reports from 49 U.S. states and territories, there were 7,525 breakthrough cases in which the person was hospitalized or died, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we reported in August. That comes out to less than one-hundredth of 1%.
This pattern was borne out by a subsequent study published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Between April 4 to July 17 of 2021, the study found, a bit over 92% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated.
That number refers to those who had received their first dose of the vaccine but not their second dose. These numbers also only reflect the 13 U.S. states that were involved in the study, which is about 25% of the U.S. population.
Bradford said, "If you look at the hospitalizations at Ruby Memorial in West Virginia, and around the country, 90% to 95% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated."
Ruby Memorial Hospital confirmed that at the time of her remark, about 90% to 95% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 were unvaccinated.
As for the national picture, statistics from the CDC published both before and after her comment broadly support those percentages.
We rate the claim True.
CORRECTION, Oct. 6, 2021: This version corrects the spelling of Angela Knopf's name.
Kathryn Moffett Bradford, public statement at a West Virginia University Senate assembly, Sept. 1, 2021
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Monitoring Incidence of COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths, by Vaccination Status — 13 U.S. Jurisdictions, April 4–July 17, 2021," Sept. 17, 2021
WV MetroNews, "Hospitalizations, ICU admissions, ventilators all spiking toward all-time pandemic highs," Sept. 1, 2021
PolitiFact, "Unvaccinated people ‘not dead or sick’? False. COVID-19 is hitting them hard," Aug. 9, 2021
Email interview with Monica Gandhi, professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, Sept. 3, 2021
Email interview with Angela Knopf, Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs for J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, Sept. 13, 2021
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