CDC study: 3 shots 94 percent effective against death or ventilation during omicron

Associated Press/Mary Altaffer

Three doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines were 94 percent effective in preventing death or the need for a ventilator during the omicron surge, according to a new study.  

The study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Friday adds to the evidence showing the importance of getting a booster shot.  

Effectiveness against death or ventilation was significantly lower for people who only had two shots, at 79 percent, during the period that omicron was the dominant variant circulating.  

“These findings reinforce the highly protective effects of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination against severe illness and death among adults, including against current SARS-CoV-2 variants,” the study states.  

The findings were based on results from 21 medical centers in 18 states. 

Another CDC study released Friday found that in January 2022, unvaccinated adults were 12 times more likely to be hospitalized than people who were boosted, and people with just two shots were three times more likely to be hospitalized than those who were boosted.  

The findings on the benefits of receiving a booster vaccine come as many Americans still have not received their booster shots.  

Among adults aged 18 to 64, just 30 percent have received a booster shot, according to a New York Times tracker. The rate is somewhat higher among the most vulnerable group, those 65 and up, at 59 percent. 

There is now discussion of a fourth dose, given the waning of vaccine protection over time. Pfizer has asked the Food and Drug Administration for authorization for a second booster for those 65 and older, while Moderna did so for all adults.  

Moderna said its broader request was “to provide flexibility for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and healthcare providers to determine the appropriate use of an additional booster dose of mRNA-1273, including for those at higher risk of COVID-19 due to age or comorbidities.” 

Tags Booster shots CDC COVID-19 Moderna Vaccine

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