The research, which was able to closely analyze hospitalizations and deaths from the virus in thirteen states over a period of more than three months, “found further evidence of the power of vaccination,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a recent media briefing, adding that the study indicated that the unvaccinated were about 4.5 times more likely to contract the virus and more than ten times more likely to be hospitalized.
“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,” she continued.
Currently, more than 53 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, while about 63 percent have had at least one shot, according to data compiled by the CDC.
Studies Show Elevated Risk
The new findings come on the heels of another recent study out of the United Kingdom that showed that the highly transmissible Delta variant doubles the risk of hospitalization for those who remain unvaccinated.
The research, published in the British journal The Lancet, was able to tap into data from eight thousand seven hundred patients carrying the Delta variant.
“The results suggest that patients with the Delta variant had more than two times the risk of hospital admission compared with patients with the Alpha variant,” the study wrote. “Emergency care attendance combined with hospital admission was also higher for patients with the Delta variant, showing increased use of emergency care services as well as inpatient hospitalization.”
A separate study conducted by the CDC also suggested that the unvaccinated are nearly thirty times more likely to be hospitalized with coronavirus than those who have been inoculated.
In the United States, the vast majority of new coronavirus cases is being driven by the Delta variant, which was first detected by scientists in India last fall. It has already spread to more than one hundred fifty countries and now represents more than 95 percent of all sequenced cases in the United States, according to the CDC.
In an effort to curb the quickly rising cases, President Joe Biden’s administration has announced that there are enough coronavirus booster shots available to start administering by the original September 20 projection. The details, however, surrounding who is eligible to receive them and exactly when are still pending authorization by the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The White House has noted that it would rely on officials at the two agencies if there is any need to adjust the previously planned rollout of booster shots at eight months after receiving two vaccine doses. It had previously noted that there is a possibility that the timeline could be moved up by three months.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.