Reinforcing the need to vaccinate as the Delta variant of the coronavirus marches across the globe, several studies undertaken the the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that those who are unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than the vaccinated.
A number of studies by the CDC show that vaccines on the market do remain very effective against the most severe form of the virus and the complications that can ensue from it.
As Smithsonian Magazine reports, those who were not vaccinated made up 95 percent of all Covid-19 cases in the United States, as well as 93 percent of hospitalizations and 92 percent of deaths that occurred between April 4 to June 19 of this year.
Published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on September 10, the paper stated that the study proved that those who are vaccinated were almost five times less likely to become infected with the coronavirus. They were also ten times less likely to need hospitalization due to complications associated with the virus.
The CDC study may have additional information added to it before it is finalized, but it already clearly shows how the Delta variant affects society, according to a report from Vox.
The CDC effort took a look at hospitalizations and deaths associated with Covid-19 that took place over the course of four months, from April through July of this year.
Collating information from a total of more than 600,0000 cases, the risk of developing serious or fatal complications was evaluated based on vaccination status, as CDC director Rochelle Walensky explained in a coronavirus briefing at the White House.
Unvaccinated 11 Times More Likely to Die as Delta Variant Still Dominant Strain
During the time under study, those who were not vaccinated comprised 95 percent of cases, 93 percent of hospitalizations, and 92 percent of deaths, as reported by Insider. There was a slight hiccup after the Delta variant began affecting the United States, as between June 20 and July 17, the unvaccinated still accounted for 82 percent of all cases, 86 percent of hospitalizations, and 84 percent of deaths.
This shows that the more easily transmissible variant did affect even those who had been vaccinated, but much less often.
The study’s findings suggested that as the mutation spread throughout the country over the Summer, the immunity afforded by the shot decreased slightly, as protection against the coronavirus fell from 91 percent in the Spring months to a low of 78 percent during June and July, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Summer Months Saw Worst of Delta Strain Combined With Doing Away with Masking, Distancing
During the worst of the Delta outbreak in June and July, the number of breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated individuals made up 14 percent of hospitalizations and 16 percent of deaths; this is twice the rate of breakthrough cases that resulted in hospitalizations and deaths the two months prior to that.
The Summer months dealt a double whammy to the country as there may have been a slight decrease in immunity as the inoculations wore off to some degree, coupled with the more virulent, aggressive strain of the coronavirus becoming predominant throughout the nation.
At the same time, masking mandates were for the most part abandoned during the summer.
But most importantly, the vaccines’ effectiveness against the virus as far as severe illness and death were concerned showed practically no decline at all, according to the Vox report.
Walensky told reporters at the White House “The bottom line is this: We have the scientific tools we need to turn the corner on this pandemic.
“Vaccination works and will protect us from the severe complications of Covid-19. It will protect our children and allow them to stay in school for safe in-person learning.”
In an interview this morning, Greek Development minister Adonis Georgiadis claimed that the government would consider making vaccinations mandatory for professionals other than health workers, but was adamant that there will be no mandatory vaccination regulations for the general public.
He then pointed out that, according to his research, most of the hardcore unvaccinated Greek citizens belong ideologically either to the extreme left or to the extreme right, citing the two opposing marches against vaccination mandates that took place in Thessaloniki during the Prime Minister’s stay there last week.
CDC Finds Moderna Product Even More Effective in Preventing Hospitalizations than Pfizer, J & J
The CDC also released the results of another study in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showing that the inoculation produced by Moderna’s had driven to be more effective at preventing hospitalization than those created by Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson, according to a report from The Independent.
Cases occurring in June through August across nine states were studied; irrespective of age, the Moderna vaccine’s effectiveness rate stood at 95 percent, as reported by NPR. Such studies, along with real-world data, will be part of the decision making process regarding whether or not booster shots are needed by the general public and how soon after the initial series is c completed they should begin, if at all.
For now, the FDA stated last week it recommends booster shots of the vaccine for only those who are 65 and older and those who are at high risk.
Also on Tuesday, it was revealed that a two-dose version of Johnson & Johnson inoculation has proven to be 94% effective against Covid-19. The main thrust of the Johnson & Johnson campaign has been that its one-shot vaccine was sufficient to provide enough protection against the virus.
Now, a two-dose series of the inoculation has shown that the protection it affords is almost identical to the two-dose regimen of the mRNA-based Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
The company stated that the addition of a booster dose to its single shot should protect people robustly against infection.
There were three different studies probing its Janssen vaccine; collating the data received from the studies, its vaccine indeed provides long-lasting immunity that could be even further improved with an extra shot, according to the drugmaker.
Two J & J Doses Give 100% Protection Against Severe Covid-19 While Unvaccinated at 11 Times More lIkely to Die
Dr. Mathai Mammen, the global head of Janssen Research & Development, said in a statement “Our large real-world-evidence and Phase 3 studies confirm that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides strong and long-lasting protection against COVID-19-related hospitalizations.
“Our single-shot vaccine generates strong immune responses and long-lasting immune memory. And, when a booster of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is given, the strength of protection against COVID-19 further increases.”
Johnson & Johnson’s Phase 2 trial of a two-dose regimen, which is still ongoing, demonstrated that two doses, administered 56 days apart, gave 100% protection against severe Covid-19 and 94% protection against moderate to severe Covid-19 in the US.
Around the world, however, the same two-dose regimen afforded 75% protection against moderate-to-severe coronavirus, according to the drugmaker.
Longer Time Between Doses Increases Effectiveness
So far, the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine , which was green lighted by the FDA back on February 27, has been administered to approximately 14.8 million Americans, according to the CDC.
The length of time in between the completion of the first series of shots and the booster shot also appears to be meaningful, as another study showed that those receiving a booster shot six months or longer after their first inoculation had a 12-fold increase in antibodies in their systems.
This compares to a four-fold increase in those who received a second dose after two months. Dr. Dan Barouch, the head of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess’ Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, told CNN “If you wait longer and have boost at six months or later then you likely will have better boost.”
As part of a real-world study using health insurance records of 390,000 people through the month of July, 2021 — when the Delta variant was already at full strength — the one-shot J & J inoculation proved to be 81% effective at preventing hospitalization.
As the company explained in its statement “The Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine showed vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19-related hospitalizations at 86% for participants younger than 60 years, and 78% for those 60 years and older.
“Among 390,517 vaccinated and 1,524,153 matched unvaccinated individuals, vaccine effectiveness 79% for COVID-19 and 81% for COVID-19-related hospitalizations,” the research team wrote in the study.
“In high-Delta-incidence states, rates of observed COVID-19 were higher in both groups than in the national cohort,” they stated.
“In these states, vaccine effectiveness for observed COVID-19 was 79% overall and 78% during June and July, the months where Delta variant incidence was highest.”
Unvaccinated Court Severe Disease, Death While Delta Variant Rages
Barouch, of Beth Israel Deaconess, previously worked with Janssen in testing its vaccine but was not directly involved in the three studies. He was reassuring about the efficacy of vaccines overall and that the data coming out of the studies backed up the earlier glowing reports about their protection.
“All the vaccines in the US have shown robust and durable protection against severe disease and hospitalization. Ultimately, the job of a vaccine is to keep you from being sick and keep you from going into the hospital and to keep you alive, and all of the vaccines are doing that,” he pointed out.
The studies on the efficacy of the J & J inoculation has come out later than those for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech products only because the J & J inoculation was authorized approximately two months after the first vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson says that it will now submit all of the new data to the FDA for potential consideration for a booster regimen — and perhaps also for consideration regarding the authorization of a two-dose regimen, like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Unlike the aforementioned, the Janssen-produced vaccine is created using not messenger RNA or mRNA delivered into the body by way of lipids; it uses adenovirus, or common cold virus, that has been engineered so it can enter cells. After it has made its way into the body’s cells, it stops and delivers genetic instructions to the cell to fight the infection.
Antibodies, including those that fight the coronavirus, build up quickly to mount a robust response to invaders, but can wane in potency over time.
Stimulating B cells, which provide longer-term protection against invaders, with a booster shot after their strength has decreased appears to make them generate fresh antibodies more effectively, Barouch explained.
In addition, he noted that the J & J product may appear to be less effective in countries outside the United States because it was tested in many areas of the world when the variants that can evade vaccines were peaking.
The Beta or B.1.351 variant, out of South Africa, is an example of this. With its “escape mutations” that enable it to hide from the immune response generated by the vaccine, it has proven especially stubborn. In the US, however, it has been overcome by the Delta variant, which does not appear to escape detection and immobilization as well.
Barouch says that overall, “I think the single dose vaccine is a reasonable option for people and for countries that want a simple and convenient vaccine that can be administered quickly.
“For outstanding protection, then a second shot can be given at any time between two months and eight months — and the longer you wait, the better.”