With 43,127 new cases of the COVID delta variant diagnosed in Los Angeles County between May 1 and July 25, 71.4% were in unvaccinated people, and 25.3% of those infected were fully vaccinated, a new study released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.
The study found that of the total number of newly infected people, 30,801 were not vaccinated against the virus, 10,895 were fully vaccinated and 1,431 had at least one vaccine dose.
While both vaccinated and unvaccinated people ages 16 and up contracted the predominant delta variant — mostly in July as it surged through California — the unvaccinated were 29 times more likely to be hospitalized, according to the study.
As previous studies have found, the vaccines are more likely to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death, the study showed.
Of those infected during the May-July period, 76% were between the ages of 18 and 49, accounting for almost 33,000 of the new infections, with the median age being 34.
The majority of 24,000 cases were in unvaccinated people, compared with under 8,000 among the fully vaccinated, according to the study.
The cases were almost evenly split between males and females, 47.4% and 50.4% respectively, with that split continuing between vaccinated and unvaccinated among the sexes by around 50% to 48% each.
Latinos were hit the hardest, accounting for about 33% of new cases, compared with 22% whites and 13% African Americans, the study found.
Remarkably, of the total cases, only about 5,000 were admitted to the hospital after a positive test, and just 207 deaths were recorded during the period.
The overwhelming majority of the more serious outcomes were among the unvaccinated, accounting for almost 4,000 of the hospitalizations and 176 of the deaths.
According to the study, 165 of the 189 people placed on a ventilator were also unvaccinated.
Over the period of the study, the alpha COVID-19 variant dominated in May, but quickly shifted to the more contagious delta in June and July, the study showed.
The study was released one day after the Food and Drug Administration gave its final approval to the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.
''The FDA's approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA's rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,'' said Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner.
''While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today's milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.''
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