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Promising new study bolsters proof of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy

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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — A new study of fully vaccinated health care workers has found that their chance of contracting COVID-19 is significantly lower.

The study says that infections among the fully vaccinated are extremely rare.

The data was complied by looking into the health records of 36,600 health care workers from the state of California — which is grappling with a higher than average COVID infection rate.

Among the health care workers who received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, less than one percent tested positive for COVID-19 after.

Dr. Shira Abeles and Dr. Francesca Torriani spoke with ABC News and said they found the results heartening.

“This study confirms that the vaccines are highly effective at preventing COVID-19,” both said.  “It also serves as a reminder that vaccines are not 100% effective and there are ‘breakthrough’ cases.”

The two also noted that this study looked into those working the front line, who are at higher risk of COVID exposure — on top of being from a state with a high number of new cases.

“The vaccines showed strong efficacy during a surge of cases in Southern California, which is great news for all of us,” both doctors, who work at UC San Diego Health, added.

Of the 36,659 workers vaccinated, 379 tested positive after receiving their first injection.  That number significantly fell among those who received both rounds — to 37 people testing positive.

Among the small number of people who contracted COVID-19, none were hospitalized nor died.  Meanwhile, the symptoms they had — if any — were milder than those who are still unvaccinated.

“We do hope this helps boost confidence in the vaccine,” said Abeles and Torriani.

The study lasted from December 16, 2020 until February 9.

The research was published in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday.

COVID-19 has infected more than 30 million Americans, killing over 545,000, reports Johns Hopkins University. 

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