Good Question: Can we get vaccinated vs unvaccinated patient numbers?
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— Check out these messages from our Good Question inbox:
"I was wondering why they don’t give us the specifics for the people who get COVID and have been fully vaccinated?"
"Why doesn’t Monroe County tell us how many covid positive people are vaccinated? I think it would tell us a lot."
Here’s the confusion, we got that info from county leaders once before in a covid case press release. It came back at the end of August, but the current daily updates don’t have that info.
We asked county Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza why not?
"My impression is that it doesn’t necessarily change very much because we’re getting a lot of asymptomatic positives from young people who are already vaccinated," Mendoza said. "It doesn’t actually help us to understand who’s getting sick or not among the people who are not hospitalized."
Mendoza says the focus is on people who are sick enough to end up in the hospital or the ICU fighting COVID. Even going through the research that way, he says, doesn’t always lead to a clear picture.
"Then trying to figure out who’s vaccinated and not the challenge that came up when we got the hospital numbers is that mixed into all of that is the individual who was hospitalized for say an elective procedure, who happens to test positive," Mendoza explained. "So they may have COVID but not be sick from COVID and so that really muddied the waters with respect to trying to develop what I had hoped to do, which was to develop a relative risk of being hospitalized."
So that’s why we don’t get it locally.
To give you a sense of what we’re dealing with bigger picture around the state, some of the latest numbers from the governor’s office show breakthrough cases are very rare.
They make up just about 0.7% of all patients.
Watch previous Good Question segments here. If you have a question you’d like answered, email GoodQuestion@whec.com.