Researchers looking at men and women getting treatment at Veterans Health Administration facilities found that overall vaccine efficacy against all types of infection fell from 87.9% in February to 48.1% in October.

The researchers wrote in their report: “Our analysis by vaccine type suggests declining vaccine effectiveness against infection over time, particularly for the Janssen vaccine. Yet, despite increasing risk of infection due to the Delta variant, vaccine effectiveness against death remained high, and compared to unvaccinated Veterans, those fully vaccinated had a much lower risk of death after infection. These results demonstrate an urgent need to reinstate multiple layers of protection, such as masking and physical distancing – even among vaccinated persons – while also bolstering current efforts to increase vaccination.”

The researchers say their data is more up to date than data provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although it looks only at veterans, who may not be representative of the US population. The group studied represents 2.7% of the US population and while it skews more heavily in favour of males, it may represent more minorities than other study groups.

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