COVID-19 vaccination continues to help protect adults against severe illness with COVID-19, including hospitalizations and death, according to two reports released in the March 18, 2022 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
During Omicron, COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates increased for all adults, regardless of vaccination status, but rates were 12 times higher among adults who were unvaccinated compared to adults who received a booster or additional doses. Hospitalization rates were also highest among non-Hispanic Black adults and nearly 4 times as high among Black adults than White adults during the peak of Omicron.
Additionally, mRNA vaccines continued to be highly effective at protecting against COVID-19-associated ventilation or death, including during the Omicron period. Protection was highest in adults who received a third vaccine dose, reducing the risk for COVID-19-associated ventilation or death during the Omicron period by 94%.
CDC continues to recommend that everyone 5 years and older stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, including a booster dose for those who are eligible. We also must work to ensure everyone has equitable access to vaccines and treatments by focusing efforts on reaching people who have been disproportionately affected, so that they can be protected from the effects of the virus, including severe illness, hospitalization, and death.