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Epidemiology and Health 2022;e2022036.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022036    [Accepted] Published online Apr 5, 2022.
Dynamics of hospitalizations and in-hospital deaths from COVID-19 in Northeast Brazil: a retrospective analysis based on the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccination coverage
Paulo Ricardo Martins-Filho1  , Adriano Antunes de Souza Araújo2  , Lucindo José Quintans-Júnior3  , Bárbara dos Santos Soares1  , Waneska de Souza Barboza4  , Taise Ferreira Cavalcante1  , Victor Santana Santos5 
1Federal University of Sergipe, Sergipe, Brazil, Aracaju, Brazil
2Federal University of Sergipe, Sergipe, Brazil., Aracaju, Brazil
3Federal University of Sergipe, Sergipe, Brazil, Aracaju, Brazil
4Aracaju City Hall, Municipal Health Department, Sergipe, Brazil, Aracaju, Brazil
5Federal University of Alagoas, Alagoas, Brazil, Arapiraca, Brazil
Correspondence  Paulo Ricardo Martins-Filho ,Tel: +55 (79) 3194-7202, Email: prmartinsfh@gmail.com
Received: Feb 25, 2022  Accepted after revision: Apr 5, 2022
Abstract
This study investigated the dynamics of hospitalizations and in-hospital deaths from COVID-19 throughout the pandemic in Northeast Brazil, a region with the worst socioeconomic indicators in the country. A total of 141,445 cases, 8,213 hospital admissions and 1,644 in-hospital deaths from COVID-19 were registered from 14 March 2020 to 5 February 2022. The overall rates of hospitalization and in-hospital deaths were 5.8% and 20%, respectively. Our study showed a significant decrease in hospitalization and death rates over time, which may be related to the advance of vaccination in the region. During the spread of the Gamma variant (January – June 2021), most hospitalized individuals were young adults and circa 40% of deaths occurred in this age group. During predominance of Delta (July – December 2021), at least 75% of deaths occurred among the elderly and unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals. This rate has been reduced to 42.3% due to the transmission of the Omicron variant (January – February 2022), while 34.6% of deaths were recorded among fully vaccinated individuals at 2 doses and 23.1% among those fully vaccinated plus a booster dose. The Omicron-driven third wave has been associated to the rise in the proportion of deaths among vaccinated individuals, especially among those who had not received a booster dose.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV-2 variants; COVID-19 vaccines
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