Associations of vaccine status with characteristics and outcomes of hospitalized severe COVID-19 patients in the booster era

Ophir Freund, Luba Tau, Tali Epstein Weiss, Lior Zornitzki, Shir Frydman, Giris Jacob, Gil Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The resurgence of COVID-19 cases since June 2021, referred to as the fourth COVID-19 wave, has led to the approval and administration of booster vaccines. Our study aims to identify any associations between vaccine status with the characteristics and outcomes of patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 disease. Methods We retrospectively reviewed all COVID-19 patients admitted to a large tertiary center between July 25 and October 25, 2021 (fourth wave in Israel). Univariant and multivariant analyses of variables associated with vaccine status were performed. Findings Overall, 349 patients with severe or critical disease were included. Patients were either not vaccinated (58%), had the first two vaccine doses (35%) or had the booster vaccine (7%). Vaccinated patients were significantly older, male predominant, and with a higher number of comorbidities including diabetes, hyperlipidemia, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, immunodeficient state, kidney disease and cognitive decline. Time from the first symptom to hospital admission was longer among non-vaccinated patients (7.2 ± 4.4 days, p = 0.002). Critical disease (p<0.05), admissions to the intensive care unit (p = 0.01) and advanced oxygen support (p = 0.004) were inversely proportional to the number of vaccines given, lowest among the booster vaccine group. Death (20%, p = 0.83) and hospital stay duration (8.05± 8.47, p = 0.19) were similar between the groups. Conclusion Hospitalized vaccinated patients with severe COVID-19 had significantly higher rates of most known risk factors for COVID-19 adverse outcomes. Still, all disease outcomes were similar or better compared with the non-vaccinated patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0268050
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5 May
StatePublished - May 2022


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