Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines are almost 95% effective after two shots and over 80% effective after just one shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a study of vaccinated healthcare workers released Friday, offering what the CDC calls “the most compelling evidence to date” vaccines work well enough that immunized people don’t need to wear masks.
Compiled earlier this year as part of an ongoing study, the CDC’s data looked at nearly 1,900 healthcare workers from around the country, comparing those who took Pfizer or Moderna’s two-shot coronavirus vaccine to those who were unvaccinated.
The vaccines were 94% effective at stopping symptomatic Covid-19 cases in those who had received two doses and were at least a week past their second shot.
Effectiveness sat at a still-strong 82% for healthcare workers who only had the protection of a single vaccine dose, which the study defined as those two weeks removed from their first shot but less than a week removed from their second.
The study comes one day after the CDC said it’s safe for fully vaccinated Americans to stop wearing masks and physically distance in most cases, a landmark recommendation for a country rocked by more than a year of on-and-off Covid-19 restrictions. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Friday’s study was “pivotal” in her agency’s decision to loosen its coronavirus recommendations, after months of encouraging vaccinated people to continue wearing masks indoors and avoiding crowded spaces.
“This report provided the most compelling evidence to date that Covid-19 vaccines were performing as expected in the real world,” Walensky said in a statement.
Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines logged efficacy rates above 90% in clinical trials last year, making public health officials optimistic that widespread vaccination could help break the Covid-19 pandemic’s back. Experts have held out for more concrete real-world data since then, and results are promising so far: Studies from heavily vaccinated countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel suggest Pfizer’s vaccine holds up in real life, including against some new coronavirus variants. Vaccines have also been credited with helping to push down U.S. and U.K. coronavirus cases and nearly wipe out new infections in Israel.
The study’s 82% single-dose effectiveness rate is slightly higher than the rates seen in some other trials, the authors said. This could be due to participants’ ages, according to the CDC: Patients in the CDC study had a median age in the mid-30s, and very few were over the age of 65. Also, it’s unclear how long the vaccines remain effective after just one dose.
46.8%. That’s the share of Americans who received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, the vast majority of whom took Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccine, according to CDC data released Friday. Some 36.2% of Americans are fully vaccinated.
CDC Says Vaccinated People Can Largely Stop Wearing Masks Indoors And Social Distancing (Forbes)
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