The COVID-19 virus is constantly changing, with its latest variant being omicron. How well do the vaccines and boosters hold up against these mutations?
Driving the news: Immunity against severe COVID-19 begins to decrease four months after receiving a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, according to a study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports Healthcare IT News.
What they’re saying: Laith Abu-Raddad, an epidemiologist at Weill Cornell Medicine–Qatar, believes the tentative studies on booster effectiveness are proving to be sound, reports Nature.
- “The vaccines are actually working remarkably well, given the challenges of evolution,” Abu-Raddad said, per Nature.
- The University of Maryland Medical System believes vaccines and boosters to be our best defense, saying, “With each new variant, the COVID vaccines and their boosters remain our most powerful tool to fight all the strains of COVID-19 because the vaccines continue to significantly reduce the severity of the illness.”
Details: The CDC’s data tracker shows that 66.7% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with 46.8% of those having received a booster shot.
- Recent findings from the Utah Department of Health reveal unvaccinated Utahns have a 1.4 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 and becoming hospitalized than those who are fully vaccinated.
- Unvaccinated Utahns also have a 0.8 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than those who have received a booster, and a 1.9 times greater risk of becoming hospitalized.
The bottom line: Keeping up with a virus that is always changing will ultimately require newer and updated shots and boosters. Consult with a health care professional if you are interested in getting vaccinated.