As the Joe Biden administration accelerates efforts to vaccinate more people, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has highlighted the importance of Covid vaccines in preventing death rates in three new studies, even amid concerns about reduced immunity in some populations.
The studies are published in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
A study showed that people who were not vaccinated against the new coronavirus disease were 10 times more likely to die from the infection than those who had been vaccinated.
The findings showed that the Covid-19 vaccines currently available provide strong protection against hospitalization and death for most people, even during the delta surge. However, higher rates of hospitalization and death are observed in older age groups, regardless of vaccination status.
For the study, the CDC analyzed data on more than 600,000 cases of Covid-19, hospitalizations, and deaths by vaccination status among people aged 18 and over, reported in 13 states and cities between April 4 and July 17.
Vaccine effectiveness against infection dropped from 90 percent, where delta has yet to gain significant traction, to less than 80 percent from mid-June to mid-July, when the delta began to outpace all other variants of the virus. Efficacy against hospitalization and death showed virtually no decline over the entire period, the Washington Post reported.
“It’s still a very good number to reach 80 percent. These vaccines still resist a highly contagious variant,” said Mehul Suthar, a virologist at Emory University.
A second study showed that Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine was significantly more effective against the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus than Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson. They suggested that Moderna was 95 percent effective in preventing hospitalization among adults 18 and older, Pfizer 80 percent, and Johnson & Johnson 60 percent effective.
“These real-world data show that vaccines are highly effective in reducing Covid-19-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits, even in the presence of the new Covid-19 variant,” said Shaun Grannis, a researcher at Indiana University in the US.
For the research, the team analyzed more than 32,000 medical encounters from nine states in June, July and August 2021, when the Delta variant became the dominant strain.
The third study examining the effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna found that mRNA vaccines were 87 percent effective in preventing hospitalizations and remained highly effective even during delta dominance.
The effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing Covid-related hospitalization dropped to 80 percent for adults over 65 and 95 percent for those aged 18 to 64.