Booster shots needed against omicron, CDC studies show

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Three studies released Friday offered more evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are standing up to the omicron variant, at least among people who received booster shots.

They are the first large U.S. studies to look at vaccine protection against omicron, health officials said.

The papers echo previous research—including studies in Germany, South Africa and the U.K.—indicating available vaccines are less effective against omicron than earlier versions of the coronavirus, but also that boosters significantly improve protection.

The first study looked at hospitalizations and emergency room and urgent care center visits in 10 states, from August to this month.

It found vaccine effectiveness was best after three doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines in preventing COVID-19-associated emergency department and urgent care visits. Protection dropped from 94% during the delta wave to 82% during the omicron wave. Protection from just two doses was lower, especially if six months had passed since the second dose.

The second study focused on COVID-19 case and death rates in 25 states from the beginning of April through Christmas. People who were boosted had the highest protection against coronavirus infection, both during the time delta was dominant and also when omicron was taking over.

Those two articles were published online by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published the third study, also led by CDC researchers. It looked at people who tested positive for COVID-19 from Dec. 10 to Jan. 1 at more than 4,600 testing sites across the U.S.

Three shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were about 67% effective against omicron-related symptomatic disease compared with unvaccinated people. Two doses, however, offered no significant protection against omicron, the researchers found.

“It really shows the important of getting a booster dose,” said the CDC’s Emma Accorsi, one of the study’s authors.

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12 thoughts on “Booster shots needed against omicron, CDC studies show

  1. How is it that Omicron is less sever than Delta and the previous variants, more people than ever are triple vax’d and Covid deaths are up?
    And the VAERS data is not supporting the unvaccinated theory!

    1. VAERS is about as relevant to the matter as how well Rob Phinesee shot Thursday night.

      It’s math. You’re always going to have a certain percentage of cases resulting in hospitalization, ICU, and/or death.

      It appears that Omicron causes less severe cases on average but it causes far more cases due to how contagious it is, which unfortunately covers up the decrease in severity.

      Let’s say Delta infected 2000 a day and maybe 10% go to the hospital. 200 people.

      Let’s say Omicron infects 10000 a day and only 5% go to the hospital. 500 people.

      What hasn’t changed is the hospitalization and death rates for the unvaccinated remains far higher than the vaccinated.

  2. Isn’t it weird how the NFL got to the playoffs and all of a sudden no player is in Covid protocol? Same for college football playoffs. College basketball games are canceled but not one player or coach on the football playoff teams were affected.
    I guess the laws of math and Science! get suspended when enough money is involved.

    1. No, the laws of math didn’t get suspended. You’re forgetting about the math affiliated with $$$.

    2. The NFL also stopped all of their surveillance testing for even unvaccinated players. So now they are only going to test players if the player decides to have themselves tested.

      You can guess how many players are going to volunteer themselves for that.