The COVID-19 vaccines remain extremely effective against the highly contagious Delta variant, blocking an estimated 80 percent of infections and slashing odds of hospitalization by more than 90 percent, a new study from the CDC and state Health Department revealed Wednesday.
That is a decrease in effectiveness from the astounding numbers the vaccines posted against the first COVID-19 variants, when the vaccines blocked up to 92 percent of infections, but officials say the new figures show the shots are among the most effective ever devised.
“At over 79 percent effective, it is one of the most effective vaccines ever,” said Professor Cheryl Healton, dean of NYU’s School of Global Public Health.
On another key score, hospitalizations, the data showed the vaccines have lost none of their potency against the Delta variant, still slashing the odds of ending up in the hospital by 92 to 95 percent depending on the age group.
“You are ten times more likely to get the infection or go to the hospital if you’re unvaccinated,” said Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes, the dean of CUNY’s School of Public Health. “I don’t think you can argue with that.”
The figures affirm findings from other countries that the currently authorized inoculations remain a potent tool in attempts to corral the catastrophic pandemic, even if the shots are slightly less effective than they were against earlier versions of COVID-19.
These latest findings come as scientists race to better understand the Delta variant, which has been proven to spread with frightening ease, bringing a dreadful new element to a pandemic that’s already killed more than 33,000 in the five boroughs alone.
The new variant arrived as the city’s vaccination campaign was flagging, forcing officials to respond with a slew of new carrot-and-stick measures aimed at cajoling vaccine hesitant New Yorkers into finally getting their shots.
Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the 300,000-plus strong municipal workforce to get their shots or face weekly COVID testing and a requirement they wear masks in the office.
City Hall followed that with a new vaccine passport program that requires patrons to show proof of inoculation before gaining entry to indoor establishments like restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
And the Big Apple started giving New Yorkers a $100 gift card following their first shot.
Vaccination rates in the five boroughs have surged 80 percent off the summer lows as the new mandates and incentives were rolled out and fears of the Delta variant grew.
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