CDC study: Unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19

Unvaccinated people this spring and summer were 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated, a report released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed.

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The report highlighted the efficacy of the three vaccines available in the United States — Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson — despite the rise in the highly-contagious delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.

According to the study’s results, that in addition to being 11 times more likely to die from the virus, those who are unvaccinated are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with the most severe symptoms of the virus.

The study, which looked at data from 13 U.S. jurisdictions during April 4-July 17, included hospitalization and death rates for those 18 and older who were fully vaccinated as opposed to those who had not had a vaccination, or who had had only one of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

During the past week, the U.S. has seen the average number of daily deaths from COVID-19 hover around 1,500. Since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, the virus has killed more than 650,000 people in the United States. The delta variant now accounts for more than 99 percent of new coronavirus infections.

In a second study released by the agency, researchers found that the Moderna vaccine was more effective in preventing hospitalizations than the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

That study included 32,000 patients seen at hospitals and urgent-care clinics in nine states. The study ran from June through early August.

Moderna’s vaccine was 95% effective in preventing hospitalizations due to severe symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. Pfizer’s vaccine was 80% effective in preventing hospitalizations, with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being 60% effective against hospitalization.

As the delta variant became the dominant variant of the COVID-19 virus in the US, the study showed that vaccine protection against getting the virus fell slightly, but the vaccine’s “effectiveness against hospitalization and death showed barely any decline during the entire period,” according to The Washington Post.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stressed that the best defense against the virus are the current vaccines available in the U.S.

“The bottom line is this: We have the scientific tools we need to turn the corner on this pandemic,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House coronavirus briefing Friday. “Vaccination works and will protect us from the severe complications of COVID-19.”

A third study released by the CDC showed a high level of effectiveness from both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The study looked at patients at Veterans Affairs hospitals in Atlanta, New York, Houston, Los Angeles and Palo Alto, Calif., from Feb. 1 to Aug. 6.

The mRNA vaccines by the two companies had an 87 percent effectiveness rate at preventing hospitalizations.

For those over age 65, effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations dropped to 80%. For those 18 to 64 years old, the effectiveness rate was 95%.

The studies released by the CDC came a day after President Joe Biden introduced a vaccine mandate plan that would see some 80 million federal and private sector employees across the country required to get a vaccine or submit weekly COVID-19 test results as a condition of employment.