A new Hawaii Department of Health analysis of breakthrough COVID-19 infections found the vaccines are proving highly effective in protecting people from hospitalization and death.
Health officials reviewed data on deaths that occurred between January 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021 and found that fully vaccinated individuals up to age 59 were 34 times less likely to die from COVID-19 than individuals who had not been vaccinated, according to a DOH news release. That protection declined with age, but the vaccines were still found to be effective in those 60 and older. In that age group, vaccinated individuals were nine times less likely to die from COVID-19 than those who had not been vaccinated.
The analysis also looked at the effect the delta variant had on vaccine effectiveness and found that while there was an increase in the frequency of vaccinated people who were hospitalized and died, those incidents remained “relatively uncommon” according to DOH. .
During the period studied, DOH found 36 deaths among fully vaccinated individuals in Hawaii and 146 hospitalizations. The vast majority of hospital admissions and deaths during that period occurred among unvaccinated individuals.
“Vaccines work. More than one million Hawaii residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and are well protected from hospitalization and death,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble in a press release. “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. DOH encourages all residents of Hawaii age five and older to protect themselves and their families through vaccination.”