Pfizer and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines are proving highly effective at preventing both symptomatic and asymptomatic spread in the real world, federal health officials said Monday.
Both two-dose vaccines have prevented 90% of infections two weeks after the second shot, mirroring clinical trial data that showed both achieving approximately 95% efficacy. Just one dose has prevented 80% of infections two weeks after it was administered, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study outlined.
The study also suggests that the two vaccines were effective against several fast-spreading coronavirus variants, alleviating earlier fears and contradicting some clinical trial results that said they would be less effective against certain strains. The study was conducted from Dec. 14, 2020 to March 13, 2021, while variants were circulating in the U.S. and around the globe. (RELATED: Israeli Data Finds Pfizer’s Vaccine 94% Effective Against Asymptomatic Spread)
It was conducted among 3,950 U.S. health care personnel, first responders and additional front-line workers, who had yet to contract the coronavirus but were at high risk of exposure. Over 60% received both shots during the trial period, while 12% received one. (RELATED: Is A Coronavirus Vaccine More Effective Than ‘Natural Immunity’?)
Among those fully vaccinated, the study said, there was a rate of just one new infection among 1,000 people every 25 days. Among those who received one dose, there were was a rate of approximately one infection among 1,000 people every five days, while the rate among unvaccinated people was over seven times higher at almost 1.5 infections per day.
“This study shows that our national vaccination efforts are working,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, in an accompanying press release. “These findings should offer hope to the millions of Americans receiving COVID-19 vaccines each day and to those who will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated in the weeks ahead. The authorized vaccines are the key tool that will help bring an end to this devastating pandemic.”
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