As new Omicron-specific boosters become available in the U.S., a study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine emphasizes the importance and success of boosters in keeping people infected with COVID-19 out of the hospital.
The researchers analyzed data from more than 192,000 adults in 13 U.S. states who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 between January and April 2022 —when the original Omicron variant was at its peak. During this time, unvaccinated people were 10.5 times more likely to be hospitalized than people who had been fully vaccinated and boosted (with the original version of the booster). People who were vaccinated but not boosted were 2.5 times more likely to end up in the hospital than those who had received a booster.
This “underscores the importance” of boosters in preventing hospitalizations, serious illness, and death, the study authors write. The researchers call on clinicians and public-health practitioners to “continue to promote vaccination with all recommended doses for eligible persons.”
The new Omicron-specific shots are now available in most areas.