In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided its first public data about breakthrough Covid-19 cases to CNN last week and it shows that vaccines have been highly effective at reducing infections, hospitalizations and death. As of last week, around 78.5 million Americans had been fully vaccinated and the CDC's data states that 5,800 cases of Covid-19 occurred among fully vaccinated people, 396 of whom required hospitalization with 74 deaths recorded. The trends mirror those of Israel which has reported a handful of infections among its fully vaccinated population with a successful vaccine rollout resulting in both cases and hospitalizations collapsing in recent weeks.
While breakthrough cases have been expected as no vaccine is 100 percent effective, the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths represent an extremely small share of the total number of people fully vaccinated. With 78.5 million Americans fully vaccinated, the share of breakthrough cases amounts to just 0.0074 percent. It is important to note, however, that the majority of those breakthrough cases likely occurred several weeks ago when the total number of people fully vaccinated was lower. Nevertheless, the data is proof that vaccines are performing well in real-life situations and away from clinical trials.
CNN has reported that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was 95 percent effective in preventing symptomatic disease in clinical trials. Earlier in April, the company reported that its jab was 91 percent effective against symptomatic Covid-19 for six months based on real-life data. The situation was similar with regards to Moderna and their vaccine was 94 percent effective in trials and 90 percent effective in real-life. Johnson & Johnson's shot had 66 percent efficacy in trials and 72 percent in full use over the last few weeks. The CDC states that breakthrough infections were seen in across all ages eligible for vaccination but that 40 percent occurred in people aged 60 and over.