Health

Half the Residents in 26 States Fully Vaccinated

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Across the U.S., 26 states have fully vaccinated at least half of their residents against COVID-19, according to the latest CDC tally updated Saturday.

Three states — Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont — have fully vaccinated at least two-thirds of their population. They’re also among the states with the lowest rates of new cases per capita during the past week.

Overall, the U.S. has fully vaccinated nearly 54% of the population, with about 74% of ages 12 and older having received at least one dose.

Although the percentage of unvaccinated people is becoming a diminishing minority, hospitals across the country are still feeling the strain as beds fill up with patients who haven’t yet received their shots, according to CNN.

In Colorado, for instance, 75% of eligible residents have received at least one dose, and the state has one of the nation’s lowest COVID-19 case rates, CNN reported. Gov. Jared Polis called the milestone an “important accomplishment” but added that 25% of eligible residents still need to get a shot to help “end this pandemic.”

“We actually have the lowest ICU available rate that we’ve had since the start of this crisis, in part due to the unvaccinated with COVID,” he said Friday. “Some hospitals are reaching very close to their capacity limits. And that wouldn’t be happening if people were vaccinated.”

Unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who are fully vaccinated, according to a new CDC study released Friday.

“Looking at the cases over the past two months when the Delta was the predominant variant circulating in this country, those who were unvaccinated were about 4.5 times more likely to get COVID-19, over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die from the disease,” Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, said during a news briefing Friday.

In addition, the study showed that breakthrough cases have increased due to the contagious Delta variant, with vaccinated people accounting for 18% of new cases. Overall, breakthrough infections were mild, and vaccines protected people against severe disease and hospitalization.

At the same time, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization appears to be waning in older adults. The efficacy rate for ages 65 and older is about 80%, according to another CDC study released Friday.

The study results arrive in time for FDA and CDC advisers to debate the need for booster shots later this week. Pfizer is expected to win FDA approval for a third dose, with the Biden administration’s plan to roll out booster shots nationwide scheduled to start during the week of Sept. 20, according to CBS News.

Federal health officials also hope to approve booster shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines in the coming weeks, CBS News reported, as soon as the companies submit additional data for review.

Sources

CDC: “COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States.” “Monitoring Incidence of COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths, by Vaccination Status – 13 U.S. Jurisdictions, April 4 – July 17, 2021.” “Effectiveness of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Against COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization – Five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, United States, February 1 – August 6, 2021.”

CNN: “26 states have now fully vaccinated at least half of all residents. But a surge of unvaccinated Covid-19 patients is straining hospitals.”

C-SPAN: “White House COVID-19 Responses Team Briefing, September 10, 2021.”

CBS News: “Unvaccinated people 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19, CDC study shows.”



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