COVID boosters provided powerful protection during Arizona’s omicron surge

Mar 3, 2022, 4:25 AM

PHOENIX – COVID-19 booster shots made an enormous difference in keeping Arizonans safe from hospitalization or death during the worst of the omicron wave, according to data released Wednesday.

Unvaccinated adults (18 and up) were 180 times more likely to die from COVID in January and 67 times more likely to be hospitalized with the virus than those who’d received a full vaccine series plus a booster dose, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services biweekly report on coronavirus rates by vaccination status.

In fact, boosters offered far more protection than full vaccination alone during a month that saw record caseloads fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.

Unvaccinated Arizona adults were 7.2 times more likely to die from COVID in January and 4.1 times more likely to be hospitalized with the virus than those who’d been fully vaccinated but not boosted.

“Vaccines continue to offer strong protection against severe COVID-19 outcomes, but these reports make the strongest possible argument for safe, free and highly effective booster doses,” ADHS Interim Director Don Herrington said in a blog post.

“Research shows that COVID-19 vaccine protection wanes over time, especially in people 65 years and older, and that boosters do a great job of increasing your immune response to protect against COVID-19.”

For details about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a locator page with sites and other information.

Maricopa County Public Health has a vaccine-finder page covering the Phoenix area.

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COVID boosters provided powerful protection during Arizona’s omicron surge