Digital generated image of variants of COVID-19. The FDA has deauthorized two medicines that were effective against delta infections but are not against omicron. Credit: Getty Images
Nursing home residents across the nation and in Florida were protected more against infection with the omicron variant by receiving booster shots, compared with just receiving a full dose, according to a study released Thursday by federal health officials.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] reported that residents at nursing facilities who received booster shots [three or more doses] had a 46.9 percent lower rate of infection, compared with those who were fully vaccinated, meaning they only received two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.
The study involved 15,000 nursing homes nationwide, which the facilities provided weekly data on cases from February 14 to March 27. Overall, there were 11,334 cases confirmed among 4,416,401 “resident-weeks with an additional or booster dose.”
That said, health officials are urging nursing home residents and those immunocompromised at the facilities to get a COVID booster dose for better protection, when eligible.
“By March 2022, 65 percent of nursing home residents had received an additional primary or booster dose,” the CDC in the report.
About 50 percent of nursing home residents were fully vaccinated and boosted, as of March 2022, according to data from AARP.
Meanwhile, cases of the subvariant omicron, BA.2.12.1, are now climbing. They represent 36.5 percent of new cases circulating across the nation.
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