November 12, 2021, 1:55 PM HST
* Updated on November 12 14:49
The Hawaii Department of Health released a new analysis of breakthrough COVID-19 vaccine efficacy data today.
Hawaiian data on deaths that occurred from January 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021 showed that:
- Fully vaccinated people aged 0-59 were 34 times less likely to die from COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.
- Fully vaccinated people aged 60 and older were nine times less likely to die from COVID-19 than unvaccinated individuals.
The DOH says the findings “demonstrate that COVID-19 vaccines provide excellent protection against serious illness and death.”
A vaccine breakthrough infection occurs when a fully vaccinated person tests positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing their first vaccine series.
“More than one million Hawaiians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and are well protected from hospitalization and death,” said state epidemiologist Dr Sarah Kemble. “Breakthrough infections are expected because no vaccine is 100% effective, but this new data reflects national studies showing that vaccinated people are well protected against COVID-19.”
dr. Kemble said the DOH “encourages all Hawaii residents ages five and older to protect themselves and their families through vaccination.”
From January through September, DOH documented 36 deaths among fully vaccinated people in Hawaii and 146 hospitalizations. The DOH reports that an overwhelming majority of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths reported during the same time period have occurred among unvaccinated individuals.
The analysis also looked at the effect of the Delta variant on the efficacy of the vaccine.
Although the frequency of breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths increased during the Delta variant period, “breakthrough events remained relatively uncommon compared to the total number of hospitalizations and deaths,” according to the DOH.
Click here to read the full report.