A new report has found that excluding 3 outliers, the states with the greatest improvement in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalizations saw a 1 month increase of more than 166 vaccines per 100,000. Although other factors may also be contributing to fewer hospitalizations, investigators expect this change to be meaningful nationally as vaccine administration expands.

The top 10 states with hospitalization improvements saw between 21.9 and 34.3 fewer daily hospitalizations per 100,000 people, with between 178.6 and 298.6 more vaccinations per 100,000. The report said this is a strong correlation, represented by a value of 0.84 (a value of 1 would indicate a perfect correlation).

The top 3 states include Arizona, Alabama, and California. Over the past month, Arizona saw 34.3 fewer daily hospitalizations per 100,000 people, with 298.6 more daily vaccinations over the same period. Similarly, Alabama saw 33.7 fewer daily hospitalizations and 285.2 more vaccinations. California saw 29 fewer hospitalizations and 265.9 more vaccinations per 100,000 people.

Notably, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and West Virginia were all outliers. Tennessee saw 27.5 fewer hospitalizations per 100,000 and just 115.1 more daily vaccinations over the past month, but was fifth on the list of states with the most improvement in daily hospitalizations. In sixth place, Oklahoma saw 27.1 fewer daily hospitalizations and just 8.3 more vaccinations per 100,000 people. Finally, West Virginia rounded out the top 10 states with the greatest hospitalization improvement, with 21.9 fewer daily hospitalizations. Notably, however, it saw 59.4 fewer daily vaccinations per 100,000.

The report said one potential explanation could be the relatively high number of vaccines administered in those 3 states last month. Regardless, the investigators said that while other factors are causing hospitalizations to fall in the top 10 states, vaccinations could be a significant contributing factor.

Overall, the United States has administered 52.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses as of February 15, although that number does not reflect the number of Americans who have been fully vaccinated with both doses. Over the past week, an average of 1.5 million vaccines has been administered each day, representing an increase of approximately 3% relative to the 7-day trailing average of approximately 1.46 million as of February 4.

COVID-19 positive cases continue to lag testing, resulting in a lower daily positivity rate, according to the report. As of February 15, there were 27,484,573 cumulative cases in the United States. New case growth decreased to 55.1 thousand, while testing decreased to 1.13 million.

The report also found that Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, South Dakota, Alabama, and Kentucky are the states showing the greatest likelihood of becoming hot spots. Furthermore, 18 states reported more than 1000 daily cases and 7 states reported more than 2000, with 24 states averaging more than 1000 over the past week. The states with the greatest increase in the percent of positive cases are Montana, Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, and Washington, DC.

COVID-19 Tracker February 16, 2021: Hospitalizations vs Vaccinations. Nephron; February 16, 2021. https://nephronresearch.bluematrix.com/sellside/EmailDocViewer?encrypt=2d4e523b-ca72-41e3-8a1f-6c3c26919a77&mime=pdf&co=nephronresearch&id=dsteiber@specialtypharmacytimes.com&source=mail&distribution=library. Accessed February 17, 2021.