Viewpoint: COVID-19 vaccinations prevent hospitalization, severe disease 

By Julian Kuffler, M.D., MPH 

 In his opinion piece, “Viewpoint: Jab or job,” last week, Blake Rosso made a statement questioning the usefulness and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. 

It is important to note that COVID-19 vaccines provide good, but not perfect, protection against infection, severe disease and transmission. Depending on a person’s health and how recently they have been vaccinated, vaccines are between 60 and 90 percent effective against mild disease (including transmission) and more than 90 percent effective against severe disease. This high level of protection is evident in recent local data on hospitalized patients released by Northern Light Health. 

There were 39 unvaccinated adult inpatients in mid-October, at a time when Maine vaccination rate was 80 percent. Based on this data, if the vaccine had no benefit, we would expect to see four vaccinated hospitalized patients for each unvaccinated patient. Based on the mid-October data, this would result in 156 vaccinated inpatients with COVID-19. In actuality, there were 14 vaccinated inpatients during this time, less than a tenth of that. This demonstrates a rate of 90 percent protection against severe illness right here in our region, which is typical of what has been found nationally and internationally.  

The data is clear – COVID-19 vaccines decrease hospitalizations and save lives. Please get vaccinated for your protection, the protection of your family and the health of our community. 


Julian Kuffler, M.D., MPH, is the director of Medical Education at Mount Desert Island Hospital.  


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