An infinitesimal number of New Yorkers who received the COVID-19 vaccine have tested positive for the virus, while almost all people hospitalized with the illness had not received their shots, according to new city Health Department data announced Wednesday morning.
“Here’s the common sense bottom line: vaccines keep you alive and out of the hospital,” said City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daily press briefing on Aug. 25.
Of fully-vaccinated New Yorkers, 0.33% were diagnosed with the coronavirus, 0.02% were hospitalized, and 0.003% died of the illness. Meanwhile, 97% of people hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated, according to the Health Department analysis.
“It makes clear that vaccines continue to be extremely effective,” said de Blasio on Aug. 25. “Yes, there are some breakthrough cases, that’s true, but the bottom line is vaccine overwhelmingly works on things we care about the most, which is stopping people from being hospitalized, stopping people from coming up with the most severe illnesses, and certainly, most importantly, protecting lives, stopping people from losing lives to COVID.”
The Health Department collected the data from January-August, including several months before the more contagious Delta variant started to drive a resurgence of cases in June.
Data from more recent weeks show that unvaccinated people are 13 times more likely to end up in the hospital with COVID compared to inoculated people. Those without the shot are also three times more likely to be infected in the first place, according to Chokshi.
“Although you might have anecdotes about breakthrough cases, let’s keep in mind that the plural of anecdote is not data,” the city’s doctor said.