A little more than a year ago, roughly 150 people were hospitalized at St. Vincent's Medical Center with COVID-19. COVID hospitalizations at the Bridgeport facility have now dropped to the single digits and there have even been recent days when there have been zero patients with the coronavirus, according to Steven Valassis, chairman of emergency medicine at St. Vincent's Medical Center. The number of patients hospitalized with COVID statewide dipped to 110 as of Friday. Valassis said the number of COVID patients at St. Vincent's has been low for a while, and those few who have been admitted with the illness usually have something in common. "In the last several weeks, the majority of people we've seen in the hospital are either not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated," Valassis said. Doctors at hospitals across the state say they are seeing a similar trend, including Dr. Ohm Deshpande, an internist and vice president of population health for the Yale New Haven Health system. Of the 37 patients hospitalized throughout the Yale New Haven system as of Thursday, he said none were fully vaccinated. Deshpande and Valassis said this should send a message to those who have chosen not to get vaccinated. "The vaccines are incredibly effective against severe COVID, and that's the form of the disease that's associated with long-term effects, and deaths," Deshpande said. The state Department of Public Health does not collect data on the vaccination status of patients hospitalized with COVID, according to the agency's spokesperson Maura Fitzgerald. "Though anecdotally, we have heard similar reports," she said. For example, Nuvance Health system - which includes Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk and Sharon hospitals - has also seen a decline in COVID hospitalizations in recent weeks, and most of those patients have been unvaccinated, said Dr. Christopher Lehrach, president of Nuvance Health Medical Practice. "We can attribute this decline to COVID-19 vaccines and how effective they are at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from the virus," he said. New research released by the Cleveland Clinic shows the connection between vaccination status and COVID hospitalization isn't just happening in Connecticut. Of the 4,300 COVID hospital admissions nationwide between January and mid-April, about 99 percent were not fully vaccinated, the data shows. The clinic also found coronavirus MRNA vaccines, in particular, to be more than 97 percent effective in protecting against COVID-19. Being vaccinated against COVID doesn't mean it's impossible to get the illness or to be hospitalized with it, said Dr. Michael Parry, chief of infectious disease at Stamford Hospital. He said he has seen a handful of fully vaccinated people hospitalized with COVID, but, to his knowledge, they all recovered. Parry said it's also possible that COVID infection wasn't the main reason for their hospitalization. "The problem is that patients come in with other things and not might be primarily COVID patients, and they are recorded as breakthrough infections because they've tested positive for COVID," he said. In most cases, Parry said, recent COVID hospitalizations that he's seen have been people who are either unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. "The message is that the vaccine works," he said. "It prevents infection And the people who do get infection after vaccination, either tend to get it early, before they're fully vaccinated, or they're very mild."