MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Aug 27;70(34):1150-1155. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7034e1.
Data from randomized clinical trials and real-world observational studies show that all three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration* are safe and highly effective for preventing COVID-19-related serious illness, hospitalization, and death (1,2). Studies of vaccine effectiveness (VE) for preventing new infections and hospitalizations attributable to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19), particularly as the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant has become predominant, are limited in the United States (3). In this study, the New York State Department of Health linked statewide immunization, laboratory testing, and hospitalization databases for New York to estimate rates of new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations by vaccination status among adults, as well as corresponding VE for full vaccination in the population, across all three authorized vaccine products. During May 3-July 25, 2021, the overall age-adjusted VE against new COVID-19 cases for all adults declined from 91.7% to 79.8%. During the same period, the overall age-adjusted VE against hospitalization was relatively stable, ranging from 91.9% to 95.3%. Currently authorized vaccines have high effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalization, but effectiveness against new cases appears to have declined in recent months, coinciding with the Delta variant's increase from <2% to >80% in the U.S. region that includes New York and relaxation of masking and physical distancing recommendations. To reduce new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, these findings support the implementation of a layered approach centered on vaccination, as well as other prevention strategies such as masking and physical distancing.