The study, which examined hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 over a period of more than three months, found that unvaccinated people are more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid-19 than those who have been vaccinated, and 11 times more likely to die of the virus, according to CDC director Rochelle Walensky.
The study — as well as two others also released Friday by the CDC — is still an early release, meaning that there could be changes in the final version. But the findings nonetheless provide some clarity about the state of the pandemic as the delta variant makes its mark on communities throughout the country.
As the delta variant became more widespread in the US over the course of the summer, the study also found that protection against initial infections fell slightly — but the vaccine’s “effectiveness against hospitalization and death showed barely any decline during the entire period,” according to the Washington Post.
Another of the studies confirmed that effectiveness remains high across the board. The three vaccines available in the US — made by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson — are 86 percent effective at preventing hospitalization from Covid-19, and 82 percent effective at preventing visits to the emergency room or urgent care because of the virus, according to the study’s findings. Researchers also found that Moderna is the most effective at preventing hospitalizations, at 95 percent, with the Johnson & Johnson shot providing about 60 percent protection against hospitalizations.
Despite the remarkable effectiveness of the Covid vaccines, however, the virus continues to run rampant in the US as the country struggles with resistance to the vaccine.
Americans are still lagging behind other wealthy countries in vaccine uptake, and only 52.76 percent of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the New York Times. Only about 700,000 vaccine doses are being administered each day in the US — about 300,000 fewer than Japan’s vaccination program is currently reporting, despite Japan’s smaller population.
Currently, the US is averaging nearly 146,000 new Covid-19 cases per day, compared to less than 12,000 new cases per day at points in June this year. At the pandemic’s peak this winter, the country was reporting more than 250,000 cases per day on average.
As the US continues to struggle with Covid-19, President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that all businesses with more than 100 employees must require either vaccination or weekly Covid-19 testing.
“Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective, and free,” Biden said at a press conference on Thursday, decrying what he referred to as the “pandemic politics” of Republican leaders who have downplayed Covid-19, spread disinformation, and fought against measures like inoculation and mask-wearing.
“We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part and want to get back to life as normal,” Biden said.
Corporate America is also warming to vaccine mandates, with major companies like United Airlines and Tyson Foods implementing vaccine requirements for their workers. United set a deadline of September 27 for all of its US-based employees to be vaccinated, and it says that more than half of its previously unvaccinated employees have now been vaccinated. (Vox)