New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights the level of protection against hospitalization due to COVID-19 at different levels of vaccination, including being unvaccinated. The CDC charts further prove how vital it is for people to prioritize vaccinations as one of the first lines of defense against infection in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus took hold of the U.S. at the end of 2021. With the spread came quick spikes in hospitalization rates, and case counts rose to startling numbers, showing that the variant was effective at getting people who are fully vaccinated sick. But the CDC charts show that rates of hospitalization were still dramatically lower among people who were vaccinated than those who remained unvaccinated.
The term “fully vaccinated” refers to those who received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or received two doses of Moderna or Pfizer.
In December, hospitalization rates among unvaccinated adults were 16 times higher than those who were fully vaccinated. “As of December 25, the rate [of hospitalization] among unvaccinated people was 78 per 100,000, compared to 4 per 100,000 among fully vaccinated people, the CDC reported,” according to Business Insider.
The risks of being unvaccinated were greater for older people. Unvaccinated adults aged 50 and older had an 18 times higher likeliness to be hospitalized with COVID-related complications than those who were fully vaccinated.
For kids between the ages of 12 and 17, the risk of being unvaccinated was lower, with monthly rates of COVID-associated hospitalizations eight times higher in unvaccinated adolescents than in those who were fully vaccinated. But that’s still a marked difference between those who were fully vaccinated and those who remained unvaccinated.
For December, data about how effective the boosters were against Omicron is only available for people over 50. This data shows that a booster dose greatly lowered the risk of hospitalization. Unvaccinated adults aged 50-64 were 46 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID than those who were boosted. And for adults aged 65 and older, those who were unvaccinated were 52 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID than those who were boosted.
These hospitalization numbers mirror data that have been collected in other countries, including the UK. And it’s more proof that shows how vital vaccinations are in keeping our healthcare system running.