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New US studies released Friday show COVID-19 vaccines remained highly effective against hospitalizations and deaths even as the extra-contagious delta variant swept the country.
A study followed more than 600,000 cases of COVID-19 in 13 states from April to mid-July. As the delta increased in early summer, those who weren’t vaccinated were 4.5 times more likely than fully vaccinated people to be infected, more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely. likely to die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Vaccination works,” CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said in a White House briefing on Friday.
“The bottom line is this: we have the scientific tools we need to overcome this pandemic. “
So-called “breakthrough” cases among fully vaccinated people accounted for 14% of hospitalizations and 16% of deaths in June and July, about double the percentage recorded earlier in the year.
An increase in those percentages is not surprising: Health experts have warned that as more Americans get vaccinated, they will naturally account for a larger fraction of cases.
Walensky said on Friday that well over 90% of people hospitalized in the United States with COVID-19 are not vaccinated.
The CDC released two more studies on Friday that reported decreasing protection indices for the elderly. One looked at hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in nine states over the summer and found that protection for those 75 and over was 76% versus 89% for all other adults.
And in five veterans’ medical centers, protection against COVID-19-related hospitalizations was 95% among those 18 to 64, compared to 80% among those 65 and older.
It is not clear whether the changes observed over time are due to the fact that immunity wanes in people vaccinated for the first time several months ago, that the vaccine is not as strong against delta – or that much of the country ditched masks and other precautions just as the delta began to spread.
But U.S. health officials will take this latest real-world data into account when deciding whether at least some Americans need a booster and how long after their last dose. Next week, Food and Drug Administration advisers will publicly debate Pfizer’s request for a third shot.
What’s happening across Canada
- Over 80 percent of the 105 new cases in Manitoba are among the unvaccinated.
- New Brunswick sees 24 new cases as Ottawa stops shipping vaccines to the province.
- NS records 11 new cases, 10 in the central area of the province.
What is happening in the world
As of Friday, more than 223.2 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 case tracker. The worldwide death toll stood at 4.6 million.
In Africa, South Africa has started immunizing children and adolescents as part of the global Phase 3 clinical trials of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine for children aged six months to 17 years. The global study will recruit 2,000 participants in South Africa and another 12,000 in Kenya, the Philippines, Chile and Malaysia.
In Europe, Denmark’s high vaccination rate has enabled the Scandinavian country to become one of the first countries in the European Union to lift all national restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The return to normal has been gradual, but as of Friday, a digital pass showing proof of vaccination is no longer required to enter nightclubs, making it the latest virus protection to drop. More than 80% of people over 12 have had the two required injections.
In Asia, Sri Lanka extends the lockdown for an additional week as it battles a wave of coronavirus. The lockdown was first imposed on August 20. Doctors and unions have warned that hospitals and morgues have reached their maximum capacities during the continuing outbreak caused by the delta variant of the coronavirus.
In the AmericasUS President Joe Biden on Friday called some Republican governors “cavaliers” for resisting his call for sweeping new federal requirements for coronavirus vaccines, which he hopes will curb the increase of the delta variant. The extended rules require all employers with more than 100 workers to require them to be vaccinated or tested for the virus every week, affecting an estimated 80 million Americans.