Unvaccinated teens nine times likelier to be hospitalised

unvaccinated teens, hospital omicron
© ColleenMichaels

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that unvaccinated teenagers are nine times likelier to be hospitalised with Omicron

The CDC data, published 20 January, shows that booster vaccines can make the difference between life and death.

Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 were found to be nine times likelier to be hospitalised with Omicron, than their vaccinated peers.

Adults over the age of 65, with no vaccination, were found to be 49 times as likely as fully immunised counterparts to be hospitalised with a severe form of COVID.

COVID hospitalisation was also found to be 16 times likelier in unvaccinated adults above the age of 18, while 44 times higher in unvaccinated adults between the ages of 50 and 64.

“Vaccination remains the safest strategy”

In a November statement reflecting on Delta immunisation data, the CDC said: “Viruses are constantly changing, including the virus that causes COVID-19. These changes occur over time and can lead to the emergence of new variants that have new characteristics, including ones that impact the level of immunity vaccination and/or prior infection can provide.

“Vaccination remains the safest strategy for protecting against COVID-19.”

While infection creates antibodies, there are uncertainties about how many and for how long. One study, conducted in the UK on healthcare workers, found that prior Omicron infection only gives an antibody protection level of 19% or even 0%.

That number is starkly low in contrast to protection levels given by Delta infection.

According to the same study, Omicron is atleast 5.4 times greater at reinfection than the Delta variant.

This new information was drawn from hospitalisations over December, 2021, as Omicron hit the US atop previous waves of Delta. The resource will now be updated once a month.

Prior studies agree with new information

Previous to this insight by the CDC, the Clalit Institute revealed that three doses of Pfizer can be equivalent to 81% protection – even against newer variants.

Professor Ben Reis, Director of the Predictive Medicine Group at the Boston Children’s Hospital Computational Health Informatics Program and Harvard Medical School, said: “To date, one of the main drivers of vaccine hesitancy has been a lack of information regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine.

“This careful epidemiological study provides reliable information on third-dose vaccine effectiveness, which we hope will be helpful to those who have not yet decided about vaccination with a third dose.”

In contrast, AstraZeneca vaccine protection drops three months after a double-dose.

The data on the AstraZeneca study was drawn from atleast 44 million people in Scotland and Brazil. It means that the most vulnerable people given priority vaccination via AstraZeneca are facing severe COVID implications – unless they attain a booster soon.


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