With COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continuing to drop in the U.S. we all may be tempted to let our guard down. I understand and appreciate the new found freedoms that have come with this recent drop, however, I remain guardedly optimistic. As you can see from the CDC's COVID data tracker our numbers have fluctuated over the past couple of years. It all began in early 2020 when testing was not yet being done. Over time as we developed testing we began to track and trend data as seen here.
Over the past year we have seen spikes in January and a hold in elevation prior to the spike around July. If this trend holds true we should see things pick up again around July. But that may not be the case if we are not up to date with our COVID-19 vaccination. The CDC noted that "only about half of the booster-eligible population has received a booster and is considered up to date." As a nurse I recognize that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By making the choice to not be up to date with vaccination we risk being more likely to be seriously ill, hospitalized, or worse. There is also risk of the virus mutating in our body and releasing a new and possibly more aggressive strand of COVID-19.
"only about half of the booster-eligible population has received a booster and is considered up to date"
Recent studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine's effectiveness to protect against the Alpha, Delta, and Omicron variants by reducing their risk of death or need of a ventilator by 90-95%. Protection was the highest in adults who received the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Finally, the CDC noted "These studies emphasize the importance of staying up to date with vaccinations—they are our best protection against severe COVID-19 illness. Vaccination is also the safest way to reduce the chance that new variants will emerge. Find a vaccine provider and get your booster dose as soon as you can."