The evidence about the protection from severe disease provided by booster shots is compelling, as outlined by the recent CDC study that showed they’re 90% effective at preventing hospitalizations from omicron infections.
And yet that data hasn’t convinced even a majority of Americans to get boosted. Only 40% of the U.S. population has received the extra dose, considerably lower than the less-than-impressive 63% who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Even though President Joe Biden and health care experts continue to harp on the importance of booster doses as protection from the initial vaccinations wanes, the average number of boosters administered per day in the U.S. has dropped from a peak of 1 million in early December to about 490,000 as of last week.
A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found Americans are more likely to believe the first vaccinations are essential, but not the boosters.
“I think the evidence is now overwhelming that the booster is not simply an optional supplement, but it is a foundational part of protection,” said Jason Schwartz, a vaccine policy expert at Yale University. “But clearly that message has been lost.”
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