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CDC reports show unvaccinated way more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 despite drop in vaccine effectiveness

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Sebastian Hughes, DCNF

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Tuesday showed vaccinated individuals are far less likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19, even though immunity appears to decrease over time.

Approximately 3% of vaccinated people who caught COVID-19 between May 1 and July 25 in Los Angeles County had to be hospitalized, compared to 8% of the unvaccinated, according to the CDC report. Only 0.5% of those who were vaccinated had to be placed in the ICU, as opposed to 1.5% of the unvaccinated.

The vaccinated were five times less likely to test positive and 29 times less likely to be hospitalized than the unvaccinated in the county, the report stated. A report released earlier in August by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health estimated vaccinated hospitalizations to be four and 14 times less likely, respectively.

Out of 43,127 COVID infections, 25% were among the vaccinated, 3% were among the partially vaccinated and 71% were among the unvaccinated, which indicates the effectiveness of the vaccines has moderately waned over time, according to the CDC.

A separate report released Tuesday showed the effectiveness of the vaccine in frontline healthcare workers had decreased to 66%, but didn’t specify how quickly effectiveness decreases. Another report released Aug. 18 showed vaccine effectiveness had decreased in New York from 92% in early May to 80% by late July.

Cases and deaths in the U.S. have surged because of the delta variant. About 93% of cases in the country can be attributed to it, the CDC has estimated.

The CDC recommended vaccinated individuals wear masks in areas of substantial or high transmission in July and announced on Wednesday that booster shots would become available to most people.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on Monday that the virus could be under control by spring 2022 if most people get vaccinated.

“You have either the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, those who have been infected and have cleared the virus will have a degree of protection, and we’re recommending that those people also get vaccinated because the degree of protection that you could induce in someone who has been infected, who has then recovered and then vaccinated, is an enormous increase in the degree of protection,” Fauci told CNN.

The Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech on Monday, after previously only being available under emergency use authorization.

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