The Cleveland Clinic released a study Tuesday that found 99.75% of the 4,300 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and April 13 were not fully vaccinated.
According to Axios, this real-world data reinforces the importance of getting the full two-dose regimen of either the Pfizer vaccine, which offers 95% efficacy against serious illness and death, or the Moderna vaccine, which provides 94% protection against symptomatic infections.
The study also looked at 47,000 of the Cleveland Clinic's employees.
Researchers examined employees who had received one shot, both shots, or none at all, according to Axios. The Cleveland Clinic study also found 97.7% of its staff who contracted COVID-19 did not get vaccinated. Only 0.3% of infections were found in fully vaccinated employees, and in this group, the mRNA vaccines provided 96% protection.
The data shows the risk of COVID-19 infection or hospitalization after getting the full dose of vaccines is extremely low, said Dr. Donald Dumford, an infectious disease specialist in Akron, Ohio, who is affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic Akron General.
He said the study results should help those who are hesitant about getting vaccinated to see the benefits of the shots, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
"The vaccine we know is very safe," Dumford said. "This is a new vaccine, but it is not new technology, and we know in studies it's safe and exceedingly effective. The way for us to get back to normal life is to have as many people as possible be immune from the virus. The vaccine is the best way to do this."
Cleveland Clinic has been strongly encouraging its employees to get the vaccine. According to the Beacon Journal, of the 51,480 employees based in Ohio, almost 70% have been vaccinated, either through the Clinic or on their own.
Dumford said, while the numbers of hospitalized patients have been steadily declining as more people are getting vaccinated, there are still many patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19. While breakthrough cases, people who get infected even after getting their shot, have been observed, the illnesses are usually very mild, he said.
Dumford told the Beacon Journal, because the vaccines do not contain live viruses, people who are immunocompromised should definitely get the shot.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID Data Tracker, so far there have been 32,543,257 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and 578,945 deaths. The CDC figures show, 58.2% of adults in America have received at least one vaccination.
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