COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness
Vaccine effectiveness is a measure of how well vaccination works under real-world conditions to protect people against health outcomes such as infection, symptomatic illness, hospitalization, and death.
Results of vaccine effectiveness studies are critical to the CDC’s vaccine program and national vaccine policy decision-making.
The overall goal of CDC’s vaccine effectiveness program is to generate the comprehensive evidence needed to inform COVID-19 vaccine policy decisions and CDC guidance on other prevention measures. To accomplish this, CDC in collaboration with public health and academic partners, conducts observational studies to evaluate the real-world effectiveness of authorized and licensed COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
These studies generate data on how well vaccines work according to:
- Age group (e.g., young children, adolescents, adults, and adults ages 65 and older)
- Risk group (e.g., people with underlying health conditions and pregnant women)
- Risk setting (e.g., residents of long-term care facilities and healthcare workers)
- Outcome (e.g., against severe outcomes, such as hospitalization or death; and milder outcomes, such as symptomatic infection)
- Vaccine product (e.g., original [monovalent] or updated [bivalent])
- Vaccine dose (e.g., primary series, booster doses, time since last dose)
CDC is committed to routinely evaluating vaccine effectiveness to detect changes that could be due to:
- Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants
- Waning of vaccine protection
This work helps CDC identify population subgroups who may benefit from additional doses in the future.
Updates summarizing the results of CDC led vaccine effectiveness evaluations are provided on COVID Data Tracker.