April 28 (UPI) -- Older adults who received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are 94% less likely to be hospitalized with the disease than unvaccinated people, according to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those age 65 and older who have received just one-dose of the two-shot vaccines are 64% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who were not vaccinated, the data showed.
People are considered "fully vaccinated" two weeks after their second dose of mRNA vaccine.
"These findings are encouraging and welcome news for the two-thirds of people aged 65 and up who are already fully vaccinated," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said in a press release.
"COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective and these real-world findings confirm the benefits seen in clinical trials, preventing hospitalizations among those most vulnerable," she said.
The data are based on an analysis of COVID-19 hospitalizations for two U.S. hospital networks that cover 24 hospitals in 14 states between Jan. 1 and March 26.
Vaccine effectiveness was assessed by comparing the odds of COVID-19 vaccination among hospitalized people who tested positive for the virus with those who tested negative.
Among 417 participants, 187 tested positive for the virus, but 146 were unvaccinated and 22 had received their first dose less than 14 days earlier.
Eighteen of the positive cases were considered partially vaccinated and only one was considered fully vaccinated, the CDC said.
The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all those age 16 and older, but prioritizes people 65 and older, as the risk for severe illness from the virus increases with age and older adults are at the highest risk.
"The results [of this analysis] are promising for our communities and hospitals," Walensky said.
"As our vaccination efforts continue to expand, COVID-19 patients will not overwhelm healthcare systems, leaving hospital staff, beds, and services available for people who need them for other medical conditions," she said.