Newly Released Hospital Surveillance Data Supports Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines Against Severe Infection

Posted on August 7, 2021

The three available COVID-19 vaccines serve as an effective shield against virus-related hospitalizations, according to newly published hospitalization surveillance data.

The data tracked hospitalized COVID-19 patients aged 65 and older between Feb. 1 through April 30, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), which includes all Oregon hospitals in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties and covers approximately 43% of Oregon’s population.

The conclusions confirm the findings of earlier clinical vaccine trials that demonstrated a dramatically lower risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 among fully vaccinated people.

According to the vaccine effectiveness study, the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reduced the risk of hospitalization by 96% and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalization by 84% in adults 65-74 years old. A previous study released by the CDC reported similar results.

“This most recent report is consistent with what we’ve experienced here in Oregon. These credible sources all show that the best way to avoid serious illness and death from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Melissa Sutton, Medical Director of Respiratory Viral Pathogens at Oregon Health Authority, who is serving as a Senior Health Advisor for the COVID-19 response.

“That’s why we are urging every person who is eligible, and has not done so, to get the vaccine as soon as possible. Getting the vaccine to as many people as possible, is the quickest and most effective way to reverse the rising tide of infections and hospitalizations that we’ve experienced over the past several weeks.”

The newly released hospital findings reflect data collected prior to the surge being fueled by the Delta variant in Oregon and in other states. But data collected in the United Kingdom, Canada and Israel have shown similar excellent protection against severe disease caused by the Delta variant.

COVID-NET is a CDC population-based surveillance system that collects data on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among children and adults through a network of over 250 hospitals in 14 states.

In addition, today, OHA released the July COVID-19 breakthrough report.

OHA’s monthly update on breakthrough cases found that 81% of the 12,514 reported COVID-19 cases in July were among people who were unvaccinated.

The report identified 4,196 COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases. The average age of the people who contracted the virus was 51.

Of the 55 COVID-19 associated deaths reported in July, 91% were among people who were not fully vaccinated. Most of the breakthrough deaths occurred in elderly people.

The number of vaccine breakthrough cases identified in Oregon remains very small when compared to the more than 2.3 million Oregonians who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination series.

The July breakthrough report can be found here.


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