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Updated COVID booster shots reduce the risk of hospitalization, CDC reports

Dec 18, 2022

Author: Ashley Ahn

New bivalent COVID booster shots are more effective at reducing risk of hospitalization than boosters of the original vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in two new studies Friday.

The CDC recommended a bivalent booster in September to better protect against the omicron variant. The new booster targets a component of the omicron variant and a component of the original virus strain to offer both broad and omicron-specific protection.

Two small studies from Columbia University and Harvard University in October suggested the new shots did not produce better antibody response against the omicron BA.5 variant than boosters of the original vaccines.

But the CDC came out with two studies Friday detailing the bivalent vaccine’s effectiveness against COVID-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations and effectiveness against hospitalization specifically among older people.

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