Despite massive vaccination efforts against COVID-19, there is still a surge in hospitalizations across America.
The current seven-day rate of hospital admissions is about 5,300 per day, according to the CDC, and about 1,000 people in the U.S. are dying from COVID-19 every day.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported a decline in vaccine effectiveness among the elderly and residents of long-term care facilities, many of whom were the first to be eligible to be vaccinated last winter.
“Studies show that those who are unvaccinated continue to be more likely to be infected, more likely to be in the hospital and more likely to have severe complications from Covid-19,” Walensky said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease says the reason for this might be because even those who are vaccinated need booster shots.
Fauci pointed to data from Israel that show a major improvement in protection against severe disease and hospitalizations in those who have had boosters compared to those who haven’t.
In a study published last month, Israeli researchers found a twentyfold reduction in severe disease among those over 60 who got booster shots.
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Another study last month from Israeli researchers and faculty members of Harvard Medical School found that booster doses were 92 percent effective at preventing severe disease when compared to having received a standard two-dose regimen at least five months previously.
“What we’re starting to see now is an uptick in hospitalizations among people who’ve been vaccinated but not boosted,” Fauci said. “It’s a significant proportion, but not the majority by any means.”
Fauci added that boosters will help preventing hospitalizations. “It will dramatically diminish the likelihood that if you do get infected with a breakthrough infection that you’ll wind up in the hospital.”
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