Jan 21, 2022 - Health

CDC: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations

Photo of a man getting a vaccine.
Photo: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines overwhelmingly prevented hospitalizations from the Omicron variant, according to CDC data out Friday.

Driving the news: Pfizer and Moderna boosters were 90% effective at preventing people infected with the Omicron variant from ending up in the hospital, per the data.

  • The booster shots also reduced the likelihood of a visit to an emergency department or urgent care clinic in the first place, and were especially effective in preventing death among people over 50.

What they're saying: "Protection against infection and hospitalization with the Omicron variant is higher for those who are up to date with their vaccination," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday, citing the new data.

  • "There are still millions of people who are eligible for a booster dose and have not yet received one. As we continue to face the Omicron variant ... I urge all who are eligible to get their booster shot to get it as soon as possible."

The big picture: The highly contagious Omicron variant has rapidly spread across the country over the last month.

Go deeper: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

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