COVID-19 boosters prevented infection, hospitalization, and death during Omicron and Delta surges, CDC says

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In two separate reports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced study results suggesting Americans who received a booster COVID-19 vaccine shot had greater protection during the Delta and Omicron variant surges against infection, hospitalization, and death than those without the booster.

One study, published in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) analyzed COVID-19 case incidence rate ratios between unvaccinated people and fully vaccinated people, both with and without the booster shot, in 25 U.S. jurisdictions from April 4 to December 25, 2021. According to researchers, infection and death rates among people with the booster were lower than vaccinated people without the booster, and much lower than those who were unvaccinated. In addition, people aged 65 years and older benefitted the most from the booster shot, followed by those 50 to 64 years old, according to the study.

The other report was also published in the CDC MMWR. Researchers in this study observed hospital visits, emergency room visits, and urgent care visits from Aug. 26, 2021 to January 5, 2022. The study found the second dose of the vaccine was significantly more effective in the first 180 days than the days following. However, according to the study the booster shot was highly effective for both the Delta and  Omicron variants. Results showed the booster prevented 94 percent of emergency room visits, 82 percent of urgent care visits, and 90 percent of hospitalizations.

Together, these reports indicate that the COVID-19 vaccine booster shots offer significant protection against infection, hospitalization, and death. These findings highlight the importance of staying up to date with CDC guidance of vaccine and booster shot eligibility.