Caption: Moderna vaccine
Covid vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna prevent nine tenths of Covid infections – and not just serious symptoms of the disease, a new study says. The US government’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced findings on Monday showing both vaccines provide up to 90% protection from infection.
Vaccines – including the Moderna and Pfizer shots – were originally developed to prevent people becoming seriously ill with Covid if they caught it, in the hopes of reducing hospitalizations and deaths.
But scientists now believe the shots are even more powerful than that, and prevent any sort of Covid infection among people who have been given them.
The CDC found that two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna shots – which both require two injections several weeks apart – prevented as many as 90% of Covid infections. Its study also found that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, made with pioneering new mRNA technology, stop Covid from spreading in real world conditions.
They came to their conclusions after studying 4,000 frontline workers including health workers, emergency responders, teachers and service workers between mid-December, when the vaccines were first approved for use, and mid-March.
Participants belonged to groups who were among the first in line for the vaccine, and were tested for Covid weekly, as well as being surveyed for signs of symptoms.
Researchers then compared the frequency of Covid infections both before and after participants had been vaccinated to come to their conclusions.
A previous study found that Pfizer’s vaccine reduced infections by up to 85%, Bloomberg reported.
The US has now recorded more than 30 million Covid infections, and close to 550,000 deaths. More than 143 million Covid vaccine doses have been given in the United States, sparking hopes the virus outbreak is on the verge of being brought under control.
President Joe Biden has vowed to ensure all adults in the US are eligible to have a Covid vaccine by the start of May, with tens of millions of extra doses due to become available in the coming weeks.
Developing story, check back for updates