Coronavirus cases among healthcare workers declined dramatically after staff got their first vaccine dose, two new studies have found.
In one study of employees at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 2.6 percent of all workers who were unvaccinated tested positive for COVID-19 compared to 1.82 percent of those given their first shot, a drop of 31 percent.
That same study also found that just 0.05 percent of those who received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Modena vaccine were later infected.
In another study of frontline workers in California, only 0.13 percent contracted the virus, known as SARS-CoV-2, after being fully immunized.
‘Right now, as the weeks go by, we see more and more that not only are these vaccines efficacious but, in the community, they are extremely effective in preventing infection with SARS-CoV-2,’ Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said at a press conference on Wednesday.
‘It’s a real proof-positive of the importance of vaccination.’
Just 0.05% of workers at the University of Texas Southwestern who received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Modena vaccine later tested positive for COVID-19
Data showed that from January 9 onward (blue line), the number of positive tests among UTSW employees was lower than the number projected without vaccination (black line)
For the first study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a team from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), in Dallas, looked at vaccinations among their frontline workers.
Data was available for more than 23,300 workers eligible to be immunized between December 15, 2020 and January 28, 2021.
A total of 59 percent received at least dose of the Pfizer vaccine during that time period and 30 percent were given both doses.
During that month-and-half, 320 of the eligible employees, 1.5 percent, tested positive for coronavirus.
About 2.6 percent of the not vaccinated group was infected. This fell to 1.82 percent among the group that received one dose.
However, of those who were fully immunized just four out of more than 8,100 were infected, representing just 0.05 percent of the group.
What’s more, from January 9 onward, the number of positive tests among UTSW employees was lower than the number projected without vaccination.
‘The effect of vaccination on the preservation of our workforce has been dramatic. We observed a greater than 90 percent decrease in the number of employees who are either in isolation or quarantine,’ the authors wrote.
‘Real-world experience with SARS-CoV-2 vaccination at UTSW has shown a marked reduction in the incidence of infections among employees. This decrease has preserved the workforce when it was most needed.’
In the second study, also published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a group of researchers in California looked at vaccinated healthcare workers in the state.
In a second study, only 0.13% of frontline workers in California who were fully immunized tested positive for coronavirus. Pictured: Frontline medical workers receive the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 at the Virginia Hospital Center, December 2020
So far, 83.9 million Americans – 25.3% of the population – have received at least one dose and 45.5 million – 13.7%- are fully immunized
Data was available for employees at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) between December 16, 2020 and February 9, 2021.
More than 36,600 frontline workers received the first dose either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, and more than 28,184 – 77 percent – received the second dose.
Among the vaccinated employees, 379 people tested positive for the virus at least one day after getting their first dose.
About 0.9 percent of all people who receive one dose were infected, and most of the infections occurred within the first week, meaning they had likely already contracted the virus before being vaccinated.
Thirty-seven people were infected with COVID-19 after the second dose, meaning just 0.13 percent of all people fully inoculated fell ill.
What’s more, after two weeks, the general amount of time it takes for the virus to build up antibodies, just seven of the fully immunized group tested positive.
‘The rarity of positive test results 14 days after administration of the second dose of vaccine is encouraging and suggests that the efficacy of these vaccines is maintained outside the trial setting,’ the authors wrote.
‘These data underscore the critical importance of continued public health mitigation measures (masking, physical distancing, daily symptom screening, and regular testing), even in environments with a high incidence of vaccination, until herd immunity is reached at large.’
So far, 83.9 million Americans – 25.3 percent of the population – have received at least one dose and 45.5 million – 13.7 percent – are fully immunized.