ADHS report shows unvaccinated at 17.5 times greater risk of COVID hospitalization

Jan 19, 2022, 11:00 AM | Updated: Jan 20, 2022, 8:53 am
Nurses care for a COVID-19 patient in the infectious disease ward of the Strasbourg University Hosp...

Nurses care for a COVID-19 patient in the infectious disease ward of the Strasbourg University Hospital, eastern France, Thursday Jan. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

(AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

PHOENIX – Newly released data shows that the risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19 was 17.5 times higher in November for unvaccinated Arizonans than those who were fully vaccinated.

The hospital risk data point appeared for the first time Wednesday on the Arizona Department of Health Services’ biweekly report on COVID rates by vaccination status.

“We regularly tell Arizonans that COVID-19 vaccines dramatically reduce the risk of severe illness and death, along with reducing the chances that you will get infected,” Jessica Rigler, ADHS assistant director overseeing the Division of Public Health Preparedness, said in a blog post.

“Adding a rate for hospitalization provides even stronger evidence for this protection.”

Wednesday’s vaccination status report didn’t provide any new information about death and infection risks. It included the same data from two weeks ago showing that unvaccinated Arizonans were 31.1 times more likely to die of the virus in November and 4.9 times more likely to test positive.

The biweekly reports lag by about a month so complete data can be presented, which means it could be another month or more before statistics covering the omicron variant have been compiled. However, Arizona hospital officials said last week that approximately 90% of their COVID patients were unvaccinated.

“If you have yet to get vaccinated, please do so as soon as possible,” Rigler said. “The report shows that every week since July 1, and across all age groups, people who were unvaccinated had significantly greater risks of testing positive for and being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.”

Here’s the latest data on the pandemic in Arizona (hospital, case, death, testing and vaccination statistics are based on Wednesday morning’s update of the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 dashboard; seven-day averages are based on tracking by The New York Times):

COVID-19 cases

  • Documented pandemic total – 1,666,191
  • Daily new reports – Wednesday: 20,497; One day earlier: 23,836; One week earlier: 18,783; Pandemic high: 24,982 (Jan. 15, 2022)
  • Seven-day average – Tuesday: 20,016; One day earlier: 18,634; One week earlier: 13,395; Pandemic high: 20,016 (Jan. 18, 2022)

COVID-19 deaths

  • Documented pandemic total – 25,416
  • Daily new reports – Wednesday: 21; One day earlier: 183; One week earlier: 6; Pandemic high: 335 (Jan. 12, 2021)
  • Seven-day average – Tuesday: 58; One day earlier: 55: One week earlier: 68; Pandemic high: 175 (Jan. 13, 2021)

COVID-19 hospitalizations

  • COVID inpatients – Tuesday: 3,276; One day earlier: 3,228; One week earlier: 2,929; Pandemic high: 5,082 (Jan. 11, 2021)
  • COVID ICU patients – Tuesday: 589; One day earlier: 619; One week earlier: 619; Pandemic high: 1,183 (Jan. 11, 2021)

Statewide hospital capacity

  • Inpatients beds available – Tuesday: 482 (6% of capacity); One day earlier: 551 (6%); One week earlier: 488 (6%)
  • Percentage of inpatient beds with COVID patients – Tuesday: 37%; One day earlier: 37%; One week earlier: 33%
  • ICU beds available – Tuesday: 95 (6% of capacity); One day earlier: 92 (6%); One week earlier: 95 (6%)
  • Percentage of ICU beds with COVID patients – Tuesday: 36%; One day earlier: 37%; One week earlier: 37%

Laboratory diagnostic testing

  • Weekly percent positivity – Samples taken this week: 35%; Last week: 33%; Two weeks ago: 29%; Pandemic high (for a completed week): 33% (Jan. 9-15, 2022)
  • Find a testing site: ADHS (statewide)


  • Percentage of eligible Arizonans fully vaccinated – As of Wednesday: 59.6%; One day earlier: 59.5%
  • Percentage of eligible Arizonans with at least one shot – As of Wednesday: 71.8%; One day earlier: 71.6%
  • Find a vaccine site: ADHS (statewide); Maricopa County Public Health (metro Phoenix)

Additional details

The ADHS daily case and death updates can cover multiple days of reporting because of data processing procedures and aren’t meant to represent the actual activity over the previous 24 hours. The hospitalization numbers posted each morning are reported electronically the previous evening by hospitals across the state.

The actual caseload is likely higher than officially reported because ADHS data is based mainly on electronic laboratory reporting and doesn’t include results from home kits unless individuals report them to their health care providers.

Vaccines have proven to reduce the likelihood of a COVID infection causing serious illness or death, even with the highly contagious omicron variant.

The minimum age for vaccination is 5 for Pfizer and 18 for Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. Boosters are approved, and highly encouraged, for individuals who received their second Pfizer (ages 12 and up only) or Moderna doses at least five months ago or the Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago.

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ADHS report shows unvaccinated at 17.5 times greater risk of COVID hospitalization