In the United States, the delta variant now accounts for over 99% of new infections. About half (54%) of the total population is now fully vaccinated. 63% of people in the U.S. have received at least one shot. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published the risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19 comparing vaccinated with unvaccinated people. The CDC tracked almost 600,000 COVID patients. Of the vaccinated people, 92% had received mRNA vaccines (such as Moderna & Pfizer). The rest had received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine. The risk of death from COVID-19 for unvaccinated people in the U.S. was 11 times more than for fully vaccinated people since the delta variant became the dominant strain. Researchers also noted that vaccinated people were 10 times less likely to be admitted to the hospital and five times less likely to be infected with COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.

Vaccines maintain protection against serious outcomes from COVID

Vaccine effectiveness declined since the delta variant became dominant in 2020. Overall, the changes in benefits from vaccination have gone from 94% to 91% for death, 92% to 90% for hospital admissions, and 91% to 78% for catching COVID. While vaccine protection against catching COVID has declined, among people who do catch it, vaccinated people are still at lower risk of hospitalization and death than are unvaccinated people.

Differences between vaccines

The benefits from vaccination appear to wear off more quickly in older people. The Moderna vaccine also seems to be more effective in preventing the need for emergency care visits for COVID, compared to the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. However, more research is needed in this area. Other researchers have reported recently that there is no difference in the benefits from the vaccine between white and black patients.

These data provide further evidence of the power of vaccination.


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