The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were 94 percent effective in preventing hospitalization for COVID-19 among people age 65 and older, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study released Wednesday.
The study provides new evidence on the benefits of vaccination, and builds on results from the clinical trials by adding real-world evidence from 417 hospitalized adults in 14 states from January to March.
“This multisite U.S. evaluation under real-world conditions suggests that vaccination provided protection against COVID-19–associated hospitalization among adults aged [65 and older],” the study states.
The virus is particularly dangerous for older people, so the results in that age group are particularly important.
The 94 percent efficacy rate was for people who were fully vaccinated, meaning they were at least two weeks past their second dose. For people who were only partially vaccinated, meaning they were more than two weeks past the first dose but less than two weeks past the second dose, effectiveness was 64 percent.
Notably, no significant effectiveness was found for people who were less than 14 days past their first dose, highlighting that it takes some time for protection to kick in and that people should not disregard precautions right away.
The results show that as vaccinations spread, hospitalizations and deaths are set to decline, the CDC said.
“These data suggest that continuing to rapidly vaccinate U.S. adults against COVID-19 will likely have a marked impact on COVID-19 hospitalization and might lead to commensurate reductions in post-COVID conditions and deaths,” the study states.
Already, as more people are vaccinated, deaths from COVID-19 have fallen markedly, from highs in January of more than 3,000 per day to about 650 per day currently, according to CDC data.