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A registered nurse loads a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Frederic Brown/AFP via Getty Images

People who are fully vaccinated with the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna are 90% less likely to get infected with COVID-19, according to a CDC study that tested nearly 4,000 health care workers and other essential workers for the virus weekly.

Why it matters: The data show how well the vaccine performs in non-clinical trial settings. During the mRNA clinical trials for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, effectiveness from full vaccination was about 95%.

By the numbers: The vaccine was 90% against infections regardless of symptom status, the report says.

  • Vaccine effectiveness of partial immunization — greater than 14 days after first dose, but before second dose — was 80%.
  • The findings provide researchers with more evidence that vaccines reduce the risk of infections, including asymptomatic ones.

What they're saying: “These findings should offer hope to the millions of Americans receiving COVID-19 vaccines each day and to those who will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated in the weeks ahead," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, said in a statement.

Go deeper

Mar 29, 2021 - Health

Millions of Americans remain vulnerable as variants drive up cases

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Coronavirus cases are on the rise again in several states, partially a result of variants of the virus becoming more widespread, experts say.

Why it matters: Even though a remarkable 72% of Americans 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, millions of Americans — particularly younger Americans with underlying conditions — remain vulnerable.

Mar 29, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

GOP vaccine hesitancy is a big obstacle for Iowa's herd immunity

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Republicans, especially men, are among the most reluctant to receive a COVID vaccine, Iowa and national polls show.

Why it matters: That runs counter to the dominant narrative that minority groups are the most hesitant, as explored last week in a New York Times podcast.

Mar 29, 2021 - Health

The quest to create vaccine passports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is working alongside private companies to create "vaccine passports" that would allow Americans to prove they've been vaccinated against the coronavirus, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Many companies have said they'll require proof of vaccination as part of reopening.