The vast majority of people in the US have been vaccinated with one of the mRNA vaccines, made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, which both had around 95% efficacy in Phase III clinical trials. Less than 5% of vaccinated people in the US have received the Johnson & Johnson adenovirus-based vaccine, which had a slightly lower efficacy of 72% in the US. So far, the vaccines appear to be highly effective and working as expected according to the CDC’s analysis which the agency provided to Ars via email.
“COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control,“ the CDC said, “to date, no unexpected patterns have been identified in case demographics or vaccine characteristics.” Cases of COVID-19 are extremely rare among people who are fully vaccinated and among the more than 75 million fully vaccinated people in the US, around 5,800 people reported a “breakthrough” infection. In the CDC’s data on breakthrough COVID-19 infections, the agency found that 29% of the infections were asymptomatic. Only 7% of the 5,800 breakthrough cases resulted in hospitalization and there were only 74 deaths.
Though the risk is small, there is still risk. The CDC emphasized that everyone should get vaccinated when it is their turn and, once vaccinated, should continue following health precautions for now, such as “wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing their hands often.” Again, we are close, really close, but haven’t crossed the finish line yet!
Stay the course, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!