You asked, we answered: Why should I get vaccinated if I can still get and spread COVID-19?

Published January 7, 2022




Why should someone get the COVID vaxx when people who are already vaxxed and boosted are still getting and spreading COVID?

Answer from infectious diseases expert James Lawler, MD:

We know that vaccine breakthrough infections occur, even in people who have received a booster shot. That doesn't mean the vaccines don't work. 

Data clearly show that an up-to-date vaccination status for COVID-19 reduces infection and significantly protects you from severe disease and hospitalization, even with omicron. 

A study from the United Kingdom showed that for omicron: 

  • Two doses of vaccine plus a third booster dose provided close to 90% protection against hospitalization compared to being unvaccinated
  • Booster dose protection against infection was more modest – 50% after 10 weeks – but this still means you are half as likely to be infected after three vaccine doses compared to unvaccinated

Across a population, a 50% reduction in infection risk can make a huge impact in transmission rates. 

Bottom line: If you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine, you give yourself significant protection against more severe disease and you help your community keep transmission rates low. 

Please get vaccinated and boosted.

And re-commit taking these steps that are proven to slow transmission: 

  • When indoors outside of your home, wear a well-fitting mask over your mouth and nose, N95 or KN95 if possible
  • Don't plan or attend large gatherings
  • Avoid crowded, indoor environments
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces
  • Take steps to support your immune system
  • Get tested (preferably with a PCR test) if you have symptoms of illness, and isolate yourself until your negative result returns
  • If a family member or close contact is ill, quarantine yourself and get tested