Even at the peak of their protection earlier in 2021, Covid vaccines barely reduced the risk of hospitalizations in vaccinated people who had “breakthrough” infections, new data show.
Vaccinated people in a study published Tuesday had a nearly 1 in 200 chance of of requiring hospitalization for Covid in the first six months after being “fully vaccinated.”
That stunning risk came even though the median age of people in the study was only 51, and most were relatively healthy.
Deaths, ventilator use, and other severe outcomes also occurred regularly in vaccinated people. The data comes from a study of about 600,000 vaccinated Americans seen at over 100 academic medical centers.
The study was published online Dec. 28 in the Journal of the American Medical Association – JAMA Internal Medicine.
The data in the study also make clear how quickly vaccine protection fades after the second dose – and that the Centers for Disease Control hugely understated the number of vaccinated people hospitalized for Covid earlier this year.
Of the 600,000 fully vaccinated people, about 2,800 required inpatient hospitalization for Covid in the first six months after “full vaccination.” That period starts 14 days after the second dose of mRNA vaccines, when vaccine protection should be at peak.
Almost 3 percent of fully vaccinated people, or 1 in 35, were infected over the first six months, with infection rates accelerating sharply at the end of the study.
In all, 148 of the 600,000 vaccinated people had what the study’s authors called “serious” outcomes from Covid, including ventilation or death, in the first six months after full vaccination.
The study contained no information about post-vaccine side effects.
The findings run contrary to the endlessly repeated promises of Covid vaccine advocates that even if vaccines fail to prevent infection, they are necessary to keep hospitals from being overrun. They also help bring American hospitalization data – which is both fragmented and hopelessly politicized in a desperate effort to prove vaccine efficacy – more in line with figures from the United Kingdom and other countries.
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