70% of fully vaccinated prisoners caught COVID-19 in a Texas Delta outbreak, the CDC says - but vaccines protected against severe disease

A nurse fills a syringe with a COVID-19 vaccine. A CDC study of an outbreak in a Texas prison in July suggested vaccines protect against serious illness. Photo by Sergio Flores / Getty Images
About 70% of fully vaccinated people in a Texas prison contracted COVID-19 in an outbreak, the CDC said.
The data suggests that while delta can spread among vaccinated people, vaccines protect against severe COVID-19.
Of the unvaccinated prisoners, 93% caught COVID-19 and one died, the CDC said.
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More than two-thirds of fully vaccinated people in a Texas prison contracted COVID-19 during a Delta variant outbreak in July, but vaccines protected against serious illness, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
Of 185 fully vaccinated prisoners in the nameless prison, 129, or about 70%, contracted the virus, data from the CDC and the Federal Bureau of Prisons showed. That was a much lower rate than that of unvaccinated prisoners, of whom 39 out of 42 - or about 93% - infected the COVID-19 outbreak, said the study, published Tuesday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Four people, three of whom were unvaccinated, had to be treated in a hospital, according to the study. An unvaccinated person died, it said.
Most of the prisoners were white men, and many had received the Pfizer vaccine at least four months before the outbreak, the data showed.
The study adds to the growing evidence that COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization. Prisons tend to have higher rates of COVID-19 and deaths due to cramped living conditions and underlying health conditions, the CDC said.
Another CDC study from this month found that unvaccinated Americans were 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than vaccinated people. About 45% of people in the US are unvaccinated, according to the CDC.
The latest CDC study showed that the delta variant can spread in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. "Infectious viruses were grown from vaccinated and unvaccinated infected people," the study says.
Measures like masks and regular testing are "critical" where physical distancing is "challenging" even when vaccination rates are high, the CDC said.
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