Despite the widespread availability of vaccines, COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on society. Scientists are still studying the long-term effects of the virus. But what about the vaccines developed to combat it?
Specifically, what about vaccine booster shots? Are they still needed? Are they effective against the latest COVID-19 variants? In this article, we’ll dig into the answers.
Who benefits from boosters the most?
A recent study has yielded important results on the efficacy of Covid boosters in reducing mortality.
Scientists drew their conclusions based on 722,000 mortality records in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, between January 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.
The study showed that Covid boosters are highly effective for adults aged 60 years and older, reducing the risk of death from Covid to 11% from the original 27% baseline.
In contrast, the study found that Covid boosters made little to no difference in young people in decreasing their mortality risk.
It’s important to note that Bernard Black, who was a part of this study and is the principal investigator and professor of law at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School with a health policy specialization, clarified that the study only took into account the effectiveness of Covid boosters in avoiding the risk of death.
The scientific community elaborated on these results. Dr. Peter Silver, senior vice president and associate chief medical officer at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y., reiterated that the study did not look at hospitalizations or severe illness or the effect of living with somebody who may be vulnerable.
Due to the fact that this study had not taken into consideration how much vaccine boosters would protect against severe infections–getting vaccinated, even if you’re young, is still advisable.
Ongoing research on Covid and vaccines is essential to better understand the disease, identify possible new variants, and determine the effectiveness of Covid boosters, over time.
Are people still getting booster shots?
According to CDC data, the Covid booster uptake rate in the US only hovers around 16% of those eligible to receive them.
So far, the CDC has recommended that everyone over 6 months get vaccinated against Covid and continue receiving boosters, as they evolve and become available.
Now that the CDC and FDA are about to release their annual Covid vaccine recommendations, professor Black says the message should go to people 60 and older, who are at greater risk.
Get tested. Get treated. Feel better, faster!
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