A study published Friday found that the portion of positive tests for COVID-19 among vaccinated school employees in Philadelphia was 95 percent lower than that of unvaccinated workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ).
CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) reported that weekly tests among Philadelphia School District employees who worked in person earlier this year returned positive results of 0.09 percent among those vaccinated with two doses.
Comparatively, 1.21 percent of workers who received one dose and 1.76 percent of employees who received zero injections tested positive for COVID-19, demonstrating the effectiveness of the vaccine.
The investigation included mandatory screening tests for employees during the first five weeks of face-to-face work. In total, 0.7 percent of the 34,048 COVID-19 tests were positive among about 12,300 employees between March 21 and April 23.
“Vaccination of school staff members has been highlighted as an important strategy to maximize the safety of in-person education,” says the MMWR. “These findings reinforce the importance of promoting COVID-19 vaccination among school staff members prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year.”
At the time of the study, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had only licensed the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccines, meaning that the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was not administered in the period.
All Philadelphia school district employees had the opportunity to get vaccinated through a program that lasted from February 23 to April 3.
The researchers said they did not consider during the tests how long it had been since the employees received their vaccinations, noting that the vaccine may not have been fully protecting the person at the time of the test.
The CDC considers a person to be fully vaccinated two weeks after the second injection of the mRNA vaccines or the single injection of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The research comes as back-to-school season approaches and communities are aiming to start this school year with full-time in-person learning after the pandemic disrupted traditional education.
While all adults are authorized to receive the vaccine, only children 12 years of age and older are eligible. It is not clear when the vaccine will be available to the younger population, which includes school-age children.