Older vaccinated adults are much less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19

A new CDC assessment has been published that found fully vaccinated adults 65 and older are 94 percent less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19. The CDC says that both mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna that are authorized and recommended in the US have been shown to protect against COVID-19 related hospitalizations among adults 65 and older.

The CDC found that fully vaccinated adults in that age range are 94 percent less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people of the same age who weren't vaccinated. In the population 65 and older who were partially vaccinated, that group was 64 percent less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who were not vaccinated. CDC considers people partially vaccinated two weeks after the first dose of vaccine and fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose.

These are the first real-world findings published in the US that confirm clinical trial data showing mRNA vaccines can prevent severe COVID-19 illness. The CDC says the findings provide support for its recommendation for vaccination among citizens 65 and older. CDC director Rochelle P. Walensky said that the findings are encouraging and welcome news for two-thirds of people 65 and over who were fully vaccinated.

Walensky said that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, and the real-world findings confirm benefits seen in clinical trials and prevent hospitalizations among the most vulnerable population. The director also notes that the findings are promising for communities and hospitals around the country as the vaccination efforts continue to expand. Effective vaccines mean COVID-19 patients won't overwhelm the healthcare system preventing people suffering from other conditions from being treated, according to the CDC.

The CDC assessment looked at hospitalizations in two US hospital networks covering 24 hospitals across 14 states. Vaccine effectiveness was assessed by comparing the odds of COVID-19 vaccination among hospitalized people that tested positive for the virus causing COVID. There were 417 participants in the assessment, 187 case patients, and 230 controls, with roughly half the patients over 75 years old.