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Bajema KL, Dahl RM, Prill MM, Meites E, Rodriguez-Barradas MC, Marconi VC, Beenhouwer DO, Brown ST, Holodniy M, Lucero-Obusan C, Rivera-Dominguez G, Morones RG, Whitmire A, Goldin EB, Evener SL, Tremarelli M, Tong S, Hall AJ, Schrag SJ, McMorrow M, Kobayashi M, Verani JR, Surie D, SUPERNOVA COVID-19, Surveillance Group, Surveillance Platform for Enteric and Respiratory Infectious Organisms at the VA (SUPERNOVA) COVID-19 Surveillance Group. Effectiveness of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Against COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization - Five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, United States, February 1-August 6, 2021. Mmwr. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2021 Sep 17; 70(37):1294-1299.
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) have been shown to be highly protective against COVID-19-associated hospitalizations (1-3). Data are limited on the level of protection against hospitalization among disproportionately affected populations in the United States, particularly during periods in which the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, predominates (2). U.S. veterans are older, more racially diverse, and have higher prevalences of underlying medical conditions than persons in the general U.S. population (2,4). CDC assessed the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19-associated hospitalization among 1,175 U.S. veterans aged = 18 years hospitalized at five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) during February 1-August 6, 2021. Among these hospitalized persons, 1,093 (93.0%) were men, the median age was 68 years, 574 (48.9%) were non-Hispanic Black (Black), 475 were non-Hispanic White (White), and 522 (44.4%) had a Charlson comorbidity index score of = 3 (5). Overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19-associated hospitalization was 86.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 80.4%-91.1%) and was similar before (February 1-June 30) and during (July 1-August 6) SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant predominance (84.1% versus 89.3%, respectively). Vaccine effectiveness was 79.8% (95% CI = 67.7%-87.4%) among adults aged = 65 years and 95.1% (95% CI = 89.1%-97.8%) among those aged 18-64 years. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are highly effective in preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalization in this older, racially diverse population of predominately male U.S. veterans. Additional evaluations of vaccine effectiveness among various age groups are warranted. To prevent COVID-19-related hospitalizations, all eligible persons should receive COVID-19 vaccination.