A new study published by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that vaccine effectiveness against Covid-19 infection has dropped to as low as 66%. That’s down significantly from the 91% effectiveness reported in previous studies. The CDC attributes the fall to the Delta virus now accounting for the majority of the current circulating Covid-19 virus.
Despite the significant downturn in vaccine effectiveness, lead author Ashley Fowlkes told CNN that vaccination still helps protect against infection. “While we did see a reduction in the protection of the Covid-19 vaccine against the Delta variant, it’s still two-thirds reduction of risk.”
Vaccines remain resilient in preventing cases of severe disease that lead to long-term hospitalization or death, and that’s true for all currently known variants of Covid-19.
The authors admit there are imperfections with their estimates, which are largely to do with the fact that they had difficulties finding infected individuals. The researchers only found 19 infections among 488 unvaccinated individuals and only 24 among those who were fully vaccinated. According to the CDC, a bit more than half of all Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Fowlkes emphasized that current vaccines are still “very powerful,” especially in reducing the severity of infections. She also expressed hopes that Amercians would continue “to use masks for a little bit longer.”
A separate study conducted in Los Angeles County provides further affirmation that vaccination leads to reduced risk of hospitalization. Adding to the growing number of studies from around the world that support the belief that, although current vaccines may not be as effective at preventing infection, full vaccination tends to cause only minor infections.
Researchers in the LA County study reported significantly higher infection and hospitalization rates among unvaccinated individuals when compared to those that are fully vaccinated. “On July 25, infection and hospitalization rates among unvaccinated persons were 4.9 and 29.2 times, respectively, those in fully vaccinated persons.”
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