Infectious Disease

Officials are urging Americans to get bolstered as reports show an advantage over omicron

January 21, 2022

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Fauci and Walensky are not reporting any relevant financial information. The relevant financial information of all authors can be found in the studies.

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Booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine offer the best protection against the Omicron variant, including two in MMWR, according to data from three new studies released Friday.

“As the numbers show, we are seeing the number of cases caused by the Omicron variant gradually decreasing,” says the CDC director Rochelle P Walensky, MD, MPH, said during a White House news conference, although she added that trends vary by location.

IDN0122OmicronBoostersGraphic01WEB

Rochelle Walensky

“These new reports underscore the importance of staying current with COVID-19 immunizations,” Walensky said.

An MMWR study included data from more than 222,000 emergency room visits and emergency treatment visits and nearly 88,000 hospitalizations among adults with COVID-19-like illnesses in 10 states between August 26, 2021 and January 5, 2022.

The researchers found that the overall estimated vaccine efficacy against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 during the period when Omicron was the predominant circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus compared to the period when the Delta variant dominated, decreased, however, receiving a booster dose increased protection.

Specifically, vaccine efficacy against COVID-19 hospitalizations during the Omicron period was 90% in those who were boosted compared to 57% in those who were not, measured 6 months after their second dose. The booster was 82% effective in preventing visits to emergency departments and emergency centers, while administration of two doses was only 38% effective in preventing these visits 6 months after the second dose.

A second MMWR study found that people who received three vaccinations were less likely to be infected with the Omicron variant, according to data from 25 state and local health departments. The study showed that case rates during the Omicron wave were highest in the unvaccinated (725.6 cases per 100,000 people), lower in those who received primary vaccination without a booster (254.8 per 100,000 people) and lowest in People who received a booster dose (148.6 per 100,000).

The third study, published in JAMA, confirmed the other findings. A third dose was shown to increase protection against both the Delta and Omicron variants.

In this study, researchers looked at more than 13,000 cases of COVID-19 caused by Omicron in the United States and found that people who were vaccinated and boosted with a vaccine were 66% less likely to develop a symptomatic infection than those who received only two vaccinations.

Walensky said that taken together, the studies highlight two important issues where people who remain unvaccinated are at significantly higher risk of infections and serious illnesses, and that protection against infections and hospitalizations caused by the Omicron variant is for those who are up to date, highest is their vaccinations, ie those who are refreshed when they are eligible.

“There are still millions of people who are eligible for a booster dose and haven’t received it,” she said. “I urge everyone who is entitled to a booster dose to get it as soon as possible.”

Anthony S Fauci, MD, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and medical adviser to the president, said current vaccines — especially with a booster shot — continue to offer strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death.

“So get your vaccinations up to date,” he said. “It is essential for your protection.”

References:

Accorsi EK, et al. JAMA. 2021; doi: 10.1001 / jama.2022.0470.

Johnson AG, et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022;doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7104e2.

Thompson MG, et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022;doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7104e3.

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