Research published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that unvaccinated people are significantly more likely to not only become infected with Covid-19, but also die from the virus.
Two other reports from the agency, also published Friday, found the vaccines have largely retained their ability to keep infected patients out of the hospital, even amid the highly contagious delta variant.
One study found that when the delta variant became dominant in the summer, unvaccinated people were 4.5 times more likely to become infected, more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die of Covid.
That CDC research, based on data collected by the agency’s hospitalization surveillance network, examined more than 600,000 Covid cases reported across the country from April to July, particularly as the delta variant quickly took hold.
A second study, on vaccine effectiveness, looked at more than 1,000 Covid hospitalizations. Some of those infections occurred earlier in April, when the alpha variant of the virus was circulating widely. Others occurred from July through August, when the delta variant dominated.
The shots remained highly effective — more than 90 percent — against hospitalization among those under age 65. That protection appeared to wane a bit, however, for those ages 65 and older, where it fell to just under 80 percent.
“These vaccines still remain extremely effective at preventing what we are most concerned about: severe infection, hospitalization and death,” said Dr. Richard Besser, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former acting CDC director.
The third study had similar findings, showing that, in general, the vaccines’ effectiveness for keeping Covid patients out of the hospital was 86 percent. That effectiveness was lower, however, among adults over age 75, at 76 percent.