Infections among healthcare workers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are extremely rare, according to a new study.
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Researchers examined data from employee health records of more than 36,600 healthcare workers in California and found that less than 1% tested positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated – that is, both doses plus two weeks. for immunity to develop. Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
While anecdotal reports of individual physicians receiving COVID-19 after receiving one or both doses of the vaccine have been covered in the news recently, the study offers a more comprehensive view of how often these post-vaccination infections they occur in fully vaccinated people.
“This study confirms that vaccines are highly effective in preventing COVID-19,” study authors Dr. Shira Abeles and Dr. Francesca Torriani told ABC News.
“It also serves as a reminder that vaccines are not 100% effective and there are ‘revolutionary’ cases,” the doctors added, noting that public health measures must remain in place to protect against missing cases.
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They also pointed to a cause for optimism. “The vaccines showed great efficacy during an increase in cases in Southern California, which is great news for all of us,” said Abeles and Torriani, who work at UC San Diego Health.
The study period lasted from December 16, 2020, when the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) began their vaccination programs, to February 9, 2021.
After full vaccination, the risk of testing positive for the virus was 1.19% among UCSD employees and 0.97% among UCLA employees.
The research also showed that the more advanced healthcare workers were in the vaccination process, the better the vaccine worked.
Of the 36,659 vaccinated workers, 379 tested positive after their first dose of vaccine, and most of those individuals tested positive within two weeks of their first injection. After receiving both doses of the two-shot vaccine, 37 people tested positive, with most testing positive less than a week after their second dose. Only seven healthcare workers tested positive 15 days or more after their second vaccination.
Not a single vaccinated healthcare worker who contracted COVID-19 was hospitalized or died, and those who became ill appeared to have milder symptoms than those unvaccinated, according to the researchers.
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“We hope this helps increase confidence in the vaccine,” said Abeles and Torriani.
There were limitations to the research. Healthcare workers who tested positive after a dose may have been exposed to the virus before getting vaccinated. It is also not known which virus variants circulated during the study period. The research was published in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday.