Vaccination against covid-19 reduces the chances of developing a severe form of the disease by 90% . It is the main conclusion of an extensive study carried out with French people over 50 and published this Monday. “Vaccinated people are nine times less likely to be hospitalized or die than unvaccinated people,” epidemiologist Mahmoud Zureik, director of Epi-Phare , the public body responsible for preparing the report , told AFP .
“It is the most comprehensive event in the world,” he stressed about this report. Other studies had already shown the efficacy of vaccines to prevent severe forms of the coronavirus. But the one published this Monday stands out for its extensive database, of up to 22 million people .
The Epi-Phare compared the medical situation of vaccinated and unvaccinated French (with the same age, gender and place of residence) between December 27 – when the injections began in France – and July 20. Their conclusions are crystal clear: both the risk of suffering a serious form and of dying while being hospitalized are reduced by 90%.
The report uses data from vaccinated with Pfizer / BioNtech, Moderna and AstraZeneca . Efficacy levels are practically identical with all three. On the other hand, no conclusions are drawn about the effects of Janssen – the fourth immunizing substance authorized in the European Union – since it was injected into very few French people and the results would not have been relevant. According to the study, the protective effect of vaccines is maintained over the months , despite a slight decrease observed.
He is also interested in the effectiveness against the delta variant , which emerged in India and is currently dominant in the world. In this sense, it provides optimistic but limited conclusions. According to the report, immunizing substances reduce the risk of severe forms by 84% with the new variant.
However, “these data are based on a short period (from June 20 to July 20, 2021), which does not allow a definitive assessment of the effects of the delta variant on risk reduction,” the study acknowledges. Its authors explain that they will delve into this issue in the future, as well as the permanence of immunity over time, but it does not examine the effects of the vaccine on infections.and to stop the transmission of the virus.
According to a document from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , unveiled in July, vaccinated people could transmit a similar amount of the virus to those not vaccinated with the Indian variant. But avoiding serious forms is “the main objective of public health,” says Zureik, who emphasizes that “an epidemic without serious forms is no longer an epidemic.”
Despite reluctance at the beginning of the year by a significant part of the population, France vaccinated about 75% of its inhabitants. Currently, the epidemic situation seems controlled with an average of 36 deaths and some 5,000 cases a day during the last week.