Jan 21, 2022 - Health

CDC data: Booster shots helping prevent hospitalization in over-50s

A man receives a Pfizer covid-19 vaccine booster shot at the Safeway on Capitol Hill in October.

A 71-year-old man receives a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot on Capitol Hill in October. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The risk of unvaccinated U.S. residents aged 50-64 being hospitalized with COVID-19 is 44 times greater than those in the same age group who've been fully vaccinated and had a booster shot, new CDC data suggests.

By the numbers: For unvaccinated people over 65, that risk is 49 times greater than vaccinated Americans who've had booster shots, notes the New York Times, which first reported on Thursday night's data.

  • Unvaccinated Americans over 50 were 17 times more likely to end up in the hospital than those who'd had two doses but no boosters in December, according to the data.

Why it matters: While no figures were released for Americans under the age of 50, this "first real-world data" on the impact of boosters in the U.S. adds weight to findings in countries including Israel that boosters help prevent severe illness and hospitalization — particularly for older adults, per the NYT.

The big picture: The CDC recommends booster shots for anyone aged 12 and older.

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