An updated Covid 19 vaccine boosters are said to cut off the risk that a person will get sick from the coronavirus by about half.
According to data from a new study by researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the boosters are continuing to offer substantial protection against currently circulating variants.
Of 30,000 test results included in the analysis by the ederally funded Increased Community Access to Testing program, more than 13,000 (47%), were positive for Covid-19.
The study found that on average, individuals who did not receive a bivalent booster shot had not received a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine for over a year, which is consistent with the national average. The authors of the study stated that these individuals had minimal protection against illness.
The study results show that the updated boosters are most effective for younger adults.
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For adults between the ages of 18 and 49, the boosters cut the odds of getting a symptomatic infection caused by the BA.5 subvariant by 52%, and it cut the odds of getting an infection caused by XBB or XBB.1.5 by 49%.
For adults 50 to 64, the new boosters cut the odds of getting sick with Covid-19 by 43% for BA.5 and 40% for XBB subvariants. For those 65 and older, the boosters cut the odds of an infection with symptoms by 37% and 43% for the BA.5 and XBB subvariants, respectively.
Ruth Link-Gelles, the lead author of the study and senior epidemiologist at the CDC, stated during a press conference that the vaccine effectiveness figures are averages and may not be applicable to individuals due to differences in underlying health, prior exposure to the virus, and other factors.
She emphasized the importance of considering these numbers at a population level.
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