Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is now not only approved for everyone over 16 years old, it’s recommended.
On Monday, an independent advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously to support recommending the vaccine.
The decision of those 14 experts was based on overwhelming evidence that Pfizer’s 2-shot immunization, named Comirnaty, which was fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration last week, is not only safe but also works very well at preventing disease.
The independent experts on the CDC panel cheered on the creation of the COVID-19 vaccines in the midst of a pandemic, calling it a “miraculous accomplishment” and “a moment of incredible scientific innovation.”
Here are eight charts and graphs that lay out why Pfizer’s vaccine was given a big thumbs up:
COVID-19 vaccines are doing a great job keeping people healthy, alive, and out of the hospital.
The CDC committee looked at data from across the US showing unvaccinated adults are being hospitalized for COVID-19 at rates roughly 16 times higher than the vaccinated.
As of August 23, 0.006% of vaccinated Americans (fewer than 9,000 people) have had a severe enough case of COVID-19 to be hospitalized, according to CDC data.
The number of vaccinated people who’ve died from COVID-19 is even smaller. Of the 636,015 American COVID-19 deaths, just 2,063, or 0.3% have been in vaccinated people, a tiny fraction when you consider that more than 174 million people are fully vaccinated in the US.
Unvaccinated people under age 50 are getting hospitalized at especially high rates this year.
The CDC tracks these rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations through COVID-NET, a system which collects data from 250 hospitals across 14 states (located in different areas of the country) every week.
It’s true that more vaccinated people are now catching COVID-19, due to the Delta variant. But their cases are generally mild and the vaccines are still preventing severe disease well.