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Vanderhoff Says COVID-19 Hospitalization Rates Dropping For High Risk Ages

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Ohio Department of Health
Jo Ingles
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Ohio Department of Health

Ohio is seeing an increase in the rate of new COVID-19 cases due to the spread of a variant. But health officials say there's encouraging data when it comes to the effectiveness of the vaccine.

The state's new case ratio has jumped from 146 cases per 100,000 people to 183 new cases per 100,000 people. 

But Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Ohio Department of Health chief medical officer, was asked if the death rate might be lower since people of high risk have been offered the vaccine.  

Vanderhoff says an indicator to possibly answer that question is in the hospitalization rate. 

"Are we seeing a reduction in the percent of people in advanced ages since they were the group that we began our vaccination efforts with and they're a group that has a very high percentage of vaccination. Are we seeing fewer of them going to the hospital? And the answer is, yes," says Vanderhoff.

He said the hospitalization of people 80-years-old and up has dropped by nearly 50% and the hospitalization of people 70-years-old to 79-years-old is about a third less.

Vanderhoff says this is a clear indication that the vaccination is having the impact they were hoping it would have.

As of Friday, a third of Ohio's population had received at least the first shot.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.