If You're Over 65, This Is How Much the Vaccine Protects You, New Study Says

A new report from the CDC examined how well the vaccine works for seniors.

The COVID vaccines that are being administered in the U.S. were proven to be highly effective in clinical trials, but how does that translate to real-world efficacy? Now that tens of millions of people in the U.S. have been vaccinated, experts are able to collect more data to find out just that. One recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sought to determine how effective the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are in people over the age of 65 specifically. Read on to find out how well the COVID vaccine is protecting seniors, and for more on vaccination over a certain age, If You're Over 65, the CDC Says to Expect This After Your COVID Vaccine.

The vaccine is 94 percent effective at preventing hospitalization in people over 65.

Senior man on a COVID-19 vaccination in a doctor's office during the pandemic.

A CDC study published on April 28 found that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were 94 percent effective at preventing COVID hospitalization in people over 65 who were fully vaccinated. The study examined 417 real-world cases in hospitals across 14 states in the U.S. from January to March 2021. The promising results were consistent with the clinical trials.

"These findings are encouraging and welcome news for the two-thirds of people aged 65 and up who are already fully vaccinated," CDC director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said in a statement. As of April 28, more than 68 percent of people in the U.S. over 65 are fully vaccinated, per the CDC. And for more on life after the vaccine, You're More Likely to Get COVID After Vaccination If You're Over This Age.

Partially vaccinated people have protection, too.

female injecting COVID-19 vaccine to a senior man. Shallow DOF, focus on a foreground

The study also found that people over 65 who have received just one shot already have some protection. According to the study, the vaccines were 64 percent effective at preventing COVID-related hospitalization after partial vaccination in people over 65. Per the CDC, 82 percent of adults 65 and older have received at least one dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, as of April 28. And for essential vaccine guidance, There's a 50 Percent Chance You'll Make This Mistake When Getting Vaccinated.

The efficacy of the vaccine in seniors will benefit the health care system.

Woman wearing medical face mask commuting in during coronavirus outbreak
alvarez / iStock

As the study notes, the reduction in COVID-related hospitalization should help lessen the burden on the health care system. "COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, and these real-world findings confirm the benefits seen in clinical trials, preventing hospitalizations among those most vulnerable. The results are promising for our communities and hospitals," Walensky said. "As our vaccination efforts continue to expand, COVID-19 patients will not overwhelm health care systems—leaving hospital staff, beds, and services available for people who need them for other medical conditions." And for more COVID vaccine news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

An earlier CDC study also concluded that vaccines are highly effective in the real world.

a woman receives COVID vaccine
hedgehog94 / Shutterstock

There's been plenty of good news from the CDC. An earlier study also found that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are highly effective in preventing COVID infections in the real world. The study, published on March 29, found that two or more weeks after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, the vaccinated person's risk of infection was reduced by 90 percent. Two weeks after a single dose of either vaccine, the receiver's risk of getting COVID was diminished by 80 percent. The study examined health care personnel, first responders, and other essential workers, who "are more likely than the general population to be exposed to the virus because of their occupations." And for more on vaccine efficacy, This Is How Long the Moderna Vaccine Really Protects You, New Study Says.

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