DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado health officials have enough data to confirm that coronavirus vaccines are as effective as trials predicted they would be.
During an April 20 press conference, state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy presented two analyses that showed a 93-95% effectiveness rate for fully vaccinated Coloradans.
“Vaccines are functioning exactly as advertised,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “For those of you putting it off, now’s the time to get it.”
Herlihy points to “vaccine breakthrough cases.” Vaccine breakthrough cases occur when a fully vaccinated person still contracts the virus that causes COVID infection.
To date, Colorado has seen 819 breakthrough cases of 106,965 total cases since early January when the first was identified.
According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, breakthrough cases are twice as prevalent in women as they are in men. Data records 66.39% of breakthrough cases in women, 32.77% in men and 0.84% of unknown sex.
Breakthrough cases have an average age of 53 years old.
CDPHE representatives say this makes sense given the early focus on vaccinating certain groups.
“The distribution of these cases is very dependent on the population who have finished their vaccine series,” wrote a CDPHE spokesperson. “Since early vaccination efforts focused on residents in LTC and healthcare workers, these populations are more likely to be represented in these cases because they are more likely to be vaccinated.”
In Colorado, public and real time data shows those who are fully vaccinated are 94.6% less likely to contract the virus that causes COVID-19.
The state did two analyses to get to this estimate – the percentage of infections within a week span of time and the historical likelihood of infection. Both looked at rates and percentages in both fully vaccinated individuals and unvaccinated individuals.
The point in time analysis took information from April 4-10 and found 140 breakthrough cases had occurred out of 985,200 fully vaccinated Coloradans – a proportion of 0.014%, or one case per every 7,000 vaccinated people.
This was weighed against how many unvaccinated people got sick in the same time period. During this time, there were 9,383 cases among unvaccinated people of a total 3,635,500 unvaccinated people – 0.258%, or 1 in 387 people.
The second analysis looked at the historical rate of infection among fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
This study found the rate of infection per 100,000 among fully vaccinated people was 93% less than that of unvaccinated people – again confirming clinical trials.
Unvaccinated persons have 413.3 infection rate per 100,000, partially vaccinated a 142 infection rate and fully vaccinated a 29.6 infection rate.
This makes even partial vaccination about 79% percent effective in staving off COVID infection.