COVID-19 Vaccines Prevent Hospitalizations in High-Risk Populations
Estimates of vaccine effectiveness high for adults aged 85 years and older, those with chronic medical conditions, and for Hispanic, Black adults
THURSDAY, Sept. 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection requiring hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and emergency department or urgent care clinic visits, even in populations disproportionately affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection, according to a study published online Sept. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Mark G. Thompson, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Response Team, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of vaccines against symptomatic COVID-19 in a study involving adults aged 50 years and older with COVID-19-like illness who underwent molecular testing for SARS-CoV-2. Data were assessed from 41,552 admissions to 187 hospitals and 21,522 visits to 221 emergency departments or urgent care clinics from January 1 through June 22, 2021.
The researchers found that the effectiveness of full mRNA vaccination was 89, 90, and 91 percent against confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection leading to hospitalization, ICU admission, or an emergency department or urgent care clinic visit, respectively. With respect to a COVID-19-associated hospitalization or emergency department or urgent care clinic visit, full vaccination was similarly effective for the BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 vaccines. Vaccine effectiveness varied from 81 to 95 percent for adults aged 85 years and older, those with chronic medical conditions, and Black or Hispanic adults. The effectiveness of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine was 68 percent against SARS-CoV-2 infection leading to hospitalization.
"This study confirms that these vaccines are highly effective," Thompson said in a statement. "They offer significant protections for people older than 85, people with chronic medical conditions, as well as Black and Hispanic adults. All are groups who have been hit particularly hard by this disease."
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.