National Newsletter – Coronavirus

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Several new studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show getting your COVID-19 booster shot provides the best protection against the highly contagious omicron variant. The omicron variant accounts for 99% of cases in the U.S. and the three studies are the first set of real-life data that evaluate the boosters against omicron.

“I think we have to redefine fully vaccinated as three doses,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a longtime CDC vaccine adviser who was not involved with the studies.

One CDC study looked at 88,000 hospitalizations in 10 states. It found a booster shot was 90% effective at preventing hospitalization during December and January as omicron surged. Two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine was only 57% effective when at least six months past the second dose.

“I think it’s the third dose that really gives you the solid, the very best protection,” Schaffner said.

The three large studies conducted concluded that those who were not vaccinated faced higher risk of becoming sick.

Currently someone who has received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the J&J vaccine is considered fully vaccinated.Those over the age of 12 are eligible for a booster shot.

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