CDC publishes study showing vaccination protects better than prior infection against COVID-19

Nov. 2, 2021

In a new study, researchers examined more than 7,000 people across 9 states who were hospitalized with COVID-like illness, finding that those who were unvaccinated and had a recent infection were five times more likely to have COVID-19 than those who were recently fully vaccinated and did not have a prior infection, according to a news release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The findings were published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The data demonstrate that vaccination can provide a higher, more robust, and more consistent level of immunity to protect people from hospitalization for COVID-19 than infection alone for at least 6 months, the CDC said.“We now have additional evidence that reaffirms the importance of COVID-19 vaccines, even if you have had prior infection,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH.

The study looked at data from the VISION Network that showed among adults hospitalized with symptoms similar to COVID-19, unvaccinated people with prior infection within 3-6 months were 5.49 times more likely to have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated within 3-6 months with mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines. The study was conducted across 187 hospitals.

Visit the CDC for more news

More on COVID