Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical adviser, greets Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., after a Senate committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID-19 and emerging variants on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on January 11. Pool Photo by Greg Nash/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A CDC study released Wednesday concluded that "vaccination remains the safest and primary strategy" to prevent COVID-19 infections, complications and transmission of the virus."
CDC said during May to November 2021 U.S. cases and hospitalization rates were highest among the unvaccinated.
The study, which looked at New York and Los Angeles, was conducted before the emergence of the Omicron variant in the United States.
By early October, the CDC study said , when Delta was dominant, COVID-19 infection survivors had lower case rates than people who were vaccinated but never had COVID-19.
The CDC said these results "suggest that vaccination protects against COVID-19 and related hospitalization and that surviving a previous infection protects against a reinfection.
"Importantly, infection-derived protection was greater after the highly transmissible Delta variant became predominant, coinciding with early declining of vaccine-induced immunity in many persons."
The agency added, "Across the entire study period, persons with vaccine- and infection-derived immunity had much lower rates of hospitalization compared with those in unvaccinated persons."
The CDC said while COVID-19 might change as new variants emerge, vaccination remains the safest strategy for public health.