The Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are incredibly effective in the real world, reducing infections by 90% in fully vaccinated people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky called the study “tremendously encouraging” in a briefing on Monday, adding that it “underscored the importance of getting both of the recommended doses of the vaccine in order to get the greatest level of protection against Covid-19, especially as our concerns about variants escalate.”
The findings are the first real-world data from the United States and are in line with similar research from other countries.
The CDC study included 3,950 people in the U.S. who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine during the height of the country’s winter surge last December to mid-March. All were essential workers, including health care personnel and first responders from six states.
Two weeks after participants received both recommended doses, their risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection was reduced to 90%.
Notably, the research also showed that both vaccines prevent people from getting sick with Covid-19 and help prevent asymptomatic infections, in which people never develop symptoms.
Public health officials view Covid-19 vaccines as the best way to end the worst of the pandemic, particularly as a growing number of states lift restrictions and mask mandates.
Over 140 million people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine, and an additional 3 million have had the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
However, that still leaves many Americans vulnerable to Covid-19, and Walensky issued an urgent warning as cases are once again on the rise.
The average number of daily Covid-19 cases is just under 60,000, a 10% increase from the previous week.