President Biden is getting pushback, mostly from GOP circles, on the sweeping vaccine mandates his administration put into place this week, but new CDC research may help nudge the vaccine-hesitant into getting their shots without any further directive. Per the Washington Post, the three new studies published Friday "highlight the continued efficacy" of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, especially for keeping hospitalizations and ER visits at bay—even with the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus thrown into the mix. More on the new research:
- Study No. 1: Unvaccinated people were about 10 times more likely to die of COVID than those who'd been vaxxed over the spring and summer, this research shows. Meanwhile, those who hadn't received their jabs were nearly 12 times as likely to be hospitalized as those who had.
- Study No. 2: This research looked at the two mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) used on US veterans hospitalized at five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers across the US from Feb. 1 to Aug. 6. The findings: These two vaccines were 87% effective in preventing COVID-tied hospitalizations, even once delta entered the picture. That figure dropped to 80% for individuals 65 and older, and came in at 95% for those 18 to 64.
- Study No. 3: The Moderna vaccine was "moderately more effective" at preventing hospitalizations than Pfizer or J&J, in what the Post calls the "largest US study to date of the real-world effectiveness of all three vaccines." The three vaccines collectively offered an 86% efficacy rate against hospitalization, but Moderna alone boasted a 95% rate, while Pfizer came in at 80%, and Johnson & Johnson at 60%.
- What's Moderna's advantage? Although it's not clear, the Post notes that Moderna's mRNA dose is triple that of Pfizer's, and the delay between the first and second Moderna shot is four weeks, not three like Pfizer's—lending credence to the theory that waiting longer between the jabs might lead to greater immunity.
- The bottom line: "We have the scientific tools we need to turn the corner on this pandemic," CDC chief Rochelle Walensky said at a COVID briefing on Friday. "Vaccination works and will protect us from the severe complications of COVID-19."
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