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Monique Curet
By Monique Curet April 11, 2022

Hospitalizations, deaths are not the same among unvaccinated and vaccinated with COVID-19

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Unvaccinated people still experience higher rates of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 than vaccinated people. 

A Facebook post that says many unvaccinated people have mild cases of COVID-19 is missing context about serious cases.

The April 8 post says outcomes from COVID-19 are similar for people who are vaccinated or unvaccinated.

"Why are these idiots still THANKING the vaccine?" said the post by Jenna Ellis,  a contributor at conservative website Newsmax. "Many people who were NOT vaccinated also experienced zero or mild symptoms. Stop pushing the vax."

It includes a screenshot of a tweet from U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., that said, "I tested positive for COVID-19 today. Thankfully, I’m vaccinated and double boosted so my symptoms are mild. Please get vaccinated and boosted if you haven’t already to protect yourself and your family."

The Facebook post was flagged as part of the platform’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

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The post omits important context: People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are hospitalized for and die from the virus at much higher rates than those who have had at least two doses of vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

For example, in February, the rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations for the unvaccinated in the U.S. compared with the vaccinated was two times higher among those age five to 11, and five times higher among ages 50 to 64.

"​​Unvaccinated people in all age groups had higher case and death rates than people vaccinated with a primary series in the same age groups," the CDC reported as of March 17.

The CDC has estimated that two or three doses of an mRNA vaccine reduce risk for COVID-19 invasive mechanical ventilation or death by 90%, and three doses of vaccine during the omicron surge reduced the risk by 94%.

While there were more breakthrough COVID-19 cases with the omicron variant, vaccines continued to protect against infection, serious illness and death.

While some people who are not vaccinated may not have experienced serious COVID-19 symptoms when infected, this claim ignores the data that show the virus is far more serious and fatal in people who are unvaccinated. We rate this claim Mostly False. 

Our Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, "Effectiveness of mRNA Vaccination in Preventing COVID-19–Associated Invasive Mechanical Ventilation and Death — United States, March 2021–January 2022," March 25, 2022

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID data tracker, "Rates of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by Vaccination Status," updated March 17, 2022

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID data tracker, "Rates of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status," posted March 31, 2022

Facebook post, April 8, 2022

PolitiFact, "Newsmax," accessed April 11, 2022

PolitiFact, "No, omicron does not favor the vaccinated," Jan. 17, 2022

Twitter post, April 8, 2022

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Hospitalizations, deaths are not the same among unvaccinated and vaccinated with COVID-19

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