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