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Nurses reposition a COVID patient in the ICU in Torrance, Calif. Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Infection and hospitalization rates in late July were five and 29 times higher, respectively, among unvaccinated people in Los Angeles County than the fully vaccinated, according to a new report out Tuesday from the CDC.

Why it matters: Hospitals and state health officials have been warning that the spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations is mostly attributed to unvaccinated adults.

The big picture: Still, the data, which shows one-fourth of Los Angeles infections were among the vaccinated, coincides with another CDC report out Tuesday that also shows the waning vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant.

  • The CDC looked at a cohort of front-line health care workers and determined that vaccine effectiveness had gone down to 66%, independent of time since vaccination.
  • Last week, the agency released initial reports on vaccine effectiveness including one on adults in New York with vaccine effectiveness declining from about 92% in early May to nearly 80% by late July.

Between the lines: The two datasets out Tuesday add to the emerging evidence that protection from COVID-19 shots decreases over time.

By the numbers: Among the 43,127 COVID infections in Los Angeles County, between May 1 and July 25, about 25% were fully vaccinated, about 3% were partially vaccinated and about 71% were unvaccinated, the report shows.

Fully vaccinated people with COVID-19 were also less likely to be hospitalized than unvaccinated people.

  • About 3% of vaccinated people were hospitalized, .5% were in an ICU and .2% needed a ventilator.
  • Among the unvaccinated, nearly 8% were hospitalized, 1.5% were in an ICU and .5% were on a ventilator.

The bottom line: The vaccine still protects the majority of people from severe illness, and breakthrough cases among the vaccinated are still rare.

Go deeper: We're all going to pay for the unvaccinated

Go deeper

Oct 14, 2021 - Sports

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he requires all employees to be vaccinated

Photo: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a podcast Wednesday that he requires all of his employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Driving the news: Cuban's comments come the same week Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday that prohibits COVID-19 vaccine mandates by any "entity," including employers.

Oct 14, 2021 - Health

FDA will review Merck COVID-19 pill

The Merck logo. Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that it will meet on Nov. 30th to review Merck's experimental oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment

Why it matters: An oral antiviral drug designed to prevent or treat COVID-19 could be a key tool to combat the pandemic. Merck ended its vaccine development in January.

Oct 15, 2021 - Health

Maine health care staff won't get unemployment benefits if they refuse vaccine

A pharmacy technicinan specialist at Maine Medical Center in South Portland, Maine. Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Maine health care workers who face firing for defying COVID vaccine requirements will not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits, AP reports.

Why it matters: The notice comes as Maine's hospitals suffer labor shortages partly related to the state's vaccine mandate. One of the state's biggest hospitals has had to turn away trauma and pediatric patients and shutter an entire department, according to a local CBS affiliate.

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