The COVID-19 vaccines’ ability to keep people out of the hospital appears to be dropping slightly, particularly for those 75 and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday during an advisory panel.
The CDC has previously estimated that 97% of people in the hospital being treated for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, but that data was collected before the spread of delta, a hyper-transmissible variant that many doctors have warned appears to be making people sicker.
The latest CDC analysis estimates that the ability of the COVID vaccines to keep a person out of the hospital is now between 75% to 95%.
For people older than 75 in particular, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization experienced the steepest decline, from more than 90% to 80% between June and July.
Health experts are also concerned that a person’s immunity could be waning over time, particularly among older people whose bodies are less likely than younger people to develop a strong immune response to the vaccines.
However, the vaccine still remain highly effective at preventing serious illness, according to the briefing.
Most of the coverage would have you believe that the surge in cases is primarily down to less educated, ‘brainwashed’ Trump supporters who don’t want to take the vaccine. This may be partially true: the areas in which the delta variant is surging coincide with the sections of red America in which vaccination rates are lowest.
But according to a new paper by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, this does not paint the full picture. The researchers analyzed more than 5 million survey responses by a range of different demographic details, and classed those people who would “probably” or “definitely” not choose to get vaccinated as “vaccine hesitant.”