Real-world study shows mRNA vaccines cut COVID-19 hospitalizations among older people, CDC says

COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are 94% effective at preventing coronavirus-related hospitalizations among fully vaccinated adults age 65 and older, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published Wednesday concluded.

Results of the real-world study also indicated that the two-dose vaccines - both of which incorporate messenger RNA, or mRNA, technology – were 64% effective at preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations among those in the age group who had only received one dose.

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More than 32.2 million cumulative COVID-19 cases have been confirmed nationwide, resulting in nearly 575,000 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

According to the CDC, mRNA vaccines teach human cells how to make proteins, or even a piece of a protein, that trigger immune responses. The COVID-19-specific vaccines incorporating mRNA technology instruct the human body to produce a piece of the protein specific to the coronavirus which causes COVID-19, so that the body builds immunity from within.

The study evaluated 417 hospitalized adults across 14 states from January to March, and the agency confirmed that the findings are consistent with those found in clinical trials, CNBC reported.

“Vaccination is a critical tool for reducing severe COVID-19 in groups at high risk,” the CDC wrote in the study.

Citing CDC data, more than 81% of U.S. adults age 65 and older had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Tuesday, and more than 67% of U.S. adults in that age group are fully vaccinated, CNBC reported.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky called the study’s findings “encouraging and welcome news.”

“The results are promising for our communities and hospitals,” Walensky said in a prepared statement issued Wednesday. “As our vaccination efforts continue to expand, COVID-19 patients will not overwhelm health care systems, leaving hospital staff, beds, and services available for people who need them for other medical conditions.”

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